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More than 20 courses to help potential and existing business owners are now available online and free of charge through the Haywood Community College Small Business Center.
The courses cover topics including: online selling, finance basics, forecasting sales, setting prices, social media marketing, hiring staff, customer relations and managing inventory, among others that are designed to give entrepreneurs an introduction into the basics of owning and operating a small business.
The courses are offered by HCC through a partnership with Hewlett Packard and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.
The courses contain supporting materials such as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Word templates that entrepreneurs can download to help them manage cash flow, sales forecasting or other small business activities.
“HP Life is an excellent free resource for small business owners in our community,” said Katy Gould, director of the HCC Small Business Center. “The online classes provide both current and budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to access business resources at a time and place that is most convenient.”
The online courses are an addition to the existing counseling services and workshops already offered free of charge by HCC’s Small Business Center.
The HCC Small Business Center is one of 58 across North Carolina that in 2012-2013 provided entrepreneurship seminars and/or counseling to more than 50,000 individuals, resulting in 528 business start-ups and 2,967 jobs created or retained.
To access the courses, visit the N.C. Small Business Center website at https://www.ncsbc.net and follow these steps:
- Click on the button that reads “hp LIFE On-Line Training;”
- When the map of North Carolina appears, click on your county of residence;
- You will be directed to the Events/Workshops Page. On this page you will see “HP Life.” Click on that.
- You will be directed to “HP LIFE Online Entrepreneurship Training,” where you will be asked to register. The registration process involves several web pages. You will have to develop a password and user name.
- Once you have registered, a page, “HP LIFE e-Learning” will appear. You can then go to the “courses” area to see what courses are currently available and choose one to study. Once you have completed the business concept and technology skill activities of that course, you can take a brief survey and receive a certificate of completion.
The courses are offered continuously on the website in sessions that last about one month.
Those who register will also be linked to a network of entrepreneurs and trainers throughout the world and have access to discussion boards, profiles and mentors.
For more information about the Haywood Community College Small Business Center, including seminars for current and prospective business owners, contact Katy Gould at 828-627-4512 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about upcoming workshops is available on the HCC Small Business Center website at SBC.Haywood.edu.