Tech Companies: Time for More Entrepreneurial Training: Rutgers and GNEC

If you’ve been thinking about getting entrepreneurial training, now is the time to take advantage of some great opportunities, believes. Several programs will be getting underway shortly and are still accepting participants.

We’ve discussed the Rutgers Mini-MBA program in entrepreneurship, offered by the Rutgers Center for Management Development, before. Rutgers says the difference between success and failure often lies in the ability to create a logical plan, mitigate risks, minimize mistakes and build a strong support system. Mini-MBA courses are taught by faculty and seasoned entrepreneurs, and at the program’s end each participant makes a presentation to an investor panel.

While the one-week accelerated program costs about $5,000 to attend, there is money available via workforce training grants for specific individuals. Classes begin on October 29 in New Brunswick.

We hear that you can save $500 when you sign up for the Mini-MBA program in entrepreneurship. Use the discount code reachyourpotential. More information can be found here:

The original concept for the course—which we discussed here— was to offer people who were unemployed and couldn’t get jobs the tools to become entrepreneurs and start a business.  The workforce training grants are as we described the previously:  there are only a few spots available and the state of N.J. will check to make sure you are unemployed.

The university has expanded the concept, however. After Rutgers received feedback on the pilot program, it developed an entrepreneurship module that is not just for aspiring entrepreneurs. “It really applies to people who are in small businesses or who are already growing a business,” a spokeswoman said. It’s perfect for tech entrepreneurs who are working in small businesses, she added.

For those who can’t afford the Rutgers Mini-MBA, Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) offers an eight-week evening entrepreneur training program that provides financial assistance and instruction in financial literacy, business planning and small-business management.

Urban Entrepreneurs’ Development Institute classes will be held on Tuesdays (in Spanish) and Wednesdays (in English) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. starting September 18 and 19. All the workshops will take place at 744 Broad Street, 26th floor, in Newark.

We spoke to one program graduate, Jimi Mikusi, who owns Jersey City-based The Small Biz Cloud Company, a firm that relieves small businesses of infrastructure-management chores. “We focus on small-business clients, typically companies that don’t have an in-house IT staff,” he said.

“I took the GNEC program this spring after hearing about it through BrickCity Tech Meetup,” said Mikusi. “With my background, an IT background, I considered myself an accidental entrepreneur. I realized that running a business is a lot different than just providing a service.”

Mikusi said the GNEC offering was a condensed program that provided him the do’s and don’ts of running a business, with an eye to profitability. “A lot of people have great ideas, but there is a big difference between having a great idea and [having] a profitable great idea. One of the core things this program focuses on is making sure entrepreneurs are performing the financials and figuring out if their idea is something people are willing to pay for, or if they can even make a sustainable living from it.”

Mikusi said the information he picked up about managing the back end of the business and sales was most valuable. “Even if you have something that’s great, you have to be able to sell it to people. Now I’m much more sales-focused,” he said.

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