Best Practices

Wall Street Journal's Perspective on Business Resources

Published Aug 02, 2013 by

I recently came across an article in the Wall Street Journal about “How to Find Free or Low-Cost Training for New Business Owners.” The article tells the story of Jacquie A. Parish, a stay-at-home mom turned entrepreneurial party planner who dropped and lost $3,000 when she botched her first online marketing campaign.

Since then, she’s found low-cost workshops on bookkeeping, managing payroll, budgeting, marketing and more. (You can read the full article here.)

There are a few lessons to be learned from Parish’s story.

For entrepreneurs, as Thom Ruhe of Kauffman Foundation says in the article, you don’t need to enroll in a four-year college or suffer through trial and error. There is a wealth of resources out there—if you know where to look and know what you’re looking for.

Therein lies the rub—and another lesson—in that little If.

There are MANY resources available to help entrepreneurs, but a one-sized fits all approach doesn’t work.  SCORE, for example, has helped thousands of entrepreneurs across the country. Like most other resources though, the program isn’t designed to help everyone with everything. 

And that’s where economic developers, communities, local governments can step up, to create a network like those you’ll find in Des Moines and Dallas, in Alaska and Arkansas, that connects entrepreneurs and small business owners with the  right resources, the right workshops, the right help they need—to establish a network, a city, a region that makes entrepreneurship easier.