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Entrepreneurial Support and Facilitation of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

BCIC/BCRC staff co-hosted an Open House at Williams Financial for individuals interested in the Ice House Entrepreneurial Program. The programís steering committee, which includes representatives of BCIC/BCRC, CCV, SVC, and The Lightning Jar, were on hand to introduce themselves to prospective applicants and explain the services their organizations provide to the entrepreneurial community.

Interest in the course has exceeded expectations, and all twelve enrollees are fully engaged as the program enters its third week, hosted by CCV. Attendees range from college students to mid-career professionals, and most have lived in the region for less than five years. All are employed full-time, or part-time in the case of the college students.

In addition to CCVís donation of classroom space, Williams Financial, The Lightning Jar, and BCIC made direct and in-kind contributions to incentivize participation. BCIC covered the $129 cost of course materials, through a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation, and Williams Financial provided scholarships of up to 85 percent of the $295 tuition fee. Furthermore, every individual who completes the course will receive a complimentary six-month membership to The Lightning Jar. The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program continues to meet at CCV on Monday evenings. Below is a review of the groupís composition, adapted from an update course facilitator JJ Williams sent to the programís Steering Committee on Tuesday, November 28:

  • Participants
    • Total: 12
    • Employed full-time: 11
    • Living in the region less than five years: 9
  • Business categories
    • Services: 5
    • Products: 4
    • Intellectual: 3
  • Business expectations
    • Already launched: 5
    • Planning to launch new concepts in six months: 8
    • Planning to leave full-time position once revenues increase: 8

Staff have scheduled a follow-up meeting for the Steering Committee in mid-December. The agenda is expected to address scheduling and planning for the spring iteration of the course, facilitator training options, connections to resources for continued business advising, and the potential for scaling up the program.