July 23, 2014  

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Southern Miss Center Helps Train Displaced Mississippi Workers

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Displaced workers looking to start their own small businesses can get headed in the right direction through the Mississippi Entrepreneur Training Program.

In this joint venture. The University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Economic Entrepreneurship (CEEE) and the Montgomery Institute are working with community and junior colleges, along with WIN Job Centers across the state, to train up to 1,000 displaced workers.

“This program makes a significant investment in our participants,” said Dr. Brent Hales, CEEE director. “We offer follow-up training and assistance, in addition to referring participants to the small business development centers to take that additional step to develop their businesses.”

The Mississippi Entrepreneur Training Program has trained representatives from all 15 community and junior colleges across the state to offer the curricula based on the Southern Entrepreneur Program developed at Southern Miss.

Here’s how the program works: displaced and/or adult workers seek assistance in joining through local WIN Job Centers. Once certified, workers are placed in the SBDC First Steps for Entrepreneur workshops followed by entrepreneur training sessions in affiliated colleges. During the 33-hour course, participants receive training in the following areas:

  • Financial readiness skills
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Incorporation
  • Access to credit and capital
  • Development of a business plan
  • A mentor in the business community
  • Other assistance as needed on a case-by-case basis

Hales noted that to date more than 250 participants have enrolled in the program and more than 35 have completed or are currently enrolled in entrepreneur training at a local community college.

The Montgomery Institute was created as a non-profit charitable organization in 2001 for the purpose of providing leadership and strategic thinking needed to improve the distressed region it serves.

For more information about the CEEE at Southern Miss and its programs contact Hales at 601.266.6519 or brent.hales@usm.edu