Tag Archives: small business academy

Starting a Business? We Can Help

Have you dreamed of starting your own business but don’t know where to begin? Check out DCCCD’s Small Business Academy. Our program can give you the tools you need to succeed as an entrepreneur.

The Small Business Academy, offered through El Centro College, teaches the critical skills you’ll use to draw up a business plan, locate resources and funding and plan for the success of your own business, no matter what field it’s in. And you can take courses around your work schedule, because this one-semester, 15-credit-hour program is taught completely online!

You’ll learn about accounting, computer information systems, legal and ethical issues, marketing, estimating business growth and much more.

Our Small Business Academy faculty not only have advanced degrees but also have real-world experience in the business world, which makes them able to relate to the challenges you face at work. Our instructors work with you one-on-one, encouraging you and helping you to succeed in school and on the job.

The 14-week course syllabus covers the following lesson plans:

  • Are you an entrepreneur?
  • What is your business?
  • What is a business plan?
  • Personal finances and debt
  • Start-up costs
  • Pricing and credit strategies
  • Financial and legal management
  • Financial statements and balance sheets
  • Financial statements and cash flow
  • Payroll
  • Taxes and the IRS

The Small Business Academy’s goal is to give you the fundamental knowledge and hands-on skills necessary to plan, launch and operate your own business. Course objectives include learning how to:

  • Develop a business model and business plan
  • Locate capital for your venture
  • Develop an exit strategy
  • Develop strategic management skills for your organization
  • Lead your organization
  • Handle inevitable adverse events and master downside planning for turnarounds, bailouts, restructurings and reorganizations
  • When you complete the course, you’ll have earned the Small Business Academy Certificate.

To get started in the Small Business Academy program, complete the admissions process at El Centro College. When you meet with an academic advisor, mention your interest in the Small Business Academy program so he or she can help you determine which courses you should take.

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Student Success Story: Chaquilla Stewart

photo of Chaquilla StewartChaquilla Stewart’s dream is to open a full-service day spa in the Cedar Hill area. Where did she go to start on the path to fulfilling her dream? DCCCD’s Small Business Academy.

Stewart, who is from Arkansas, moved to Dallas to attend El Centro College, which offers the Small Business Academy.

“I wanted to get the tools to run a successful business, and El Centro’s program gave me everything I need to be successful. All I need to add is my own personal touch and skills.”

Stewart is an event planner, nail technician and makeup artist. “I’m a people person; I like making people happy, and I want them to leave feeling like a hundred bucks — that’s why I love to do nails and makeup. My clients are also friends, and I serve as their consultant and counselor in a way.

“A day spa lets me do what I love and have the joy of being around all kinds of different people — after all, that’s the reason I get up in the morning. I also like the fact that when you run your own business, you can set your own hours, see your own vision come to life and do what makes you feel warm inside.”

At El Centro’s Small Business Academy, “The best thing I learned is how to market myself and network and how to write up my business plan. You write your plan in class, and the instructor goes over it with you, guiding you with what you need to change or do. Then you spend a week with a successful business owner who has financial stability and is in the same market as your start-up business. That way, you get a really good idea of what goes on and what it takes to own your own business.

“My advice to anyone wanting to learn about starting their own business is to focus your energy and time on learning the program. Take each class seriously, because it will save money, time and mistakes in the end. There’s a fine line between just being an entrepreneur and being a successful entrepreneur. This program has all the tools you need to be successful in the business you want to start.”

Could you be the next student success story?

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Filed under Careers, Credit, Programs, Student Success Story, Why DCCCD?