Aspiring business owners and new business owners in the area can find professional assistance and support through an eight-week certificate training session offered in early October.
FastTrac NewVenture entrepreneurial certificate classes will meet on Thursdays, October 3–November 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Rantoul Business Center, 601 S. Century Blvd. in Rantoul. The program is a joint effort of Parkland College and the University of Illinois EnterpriseWorks’ EDA University Center.
Led by Mark Kesler, a Parkland business instructor and certified FastTrac facilitator, the program is designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs evaluate their early-stage business ideas and build a plan to take them to market. Through experienced professionals, one-on-one mentoring, and peer learning, participants gain ample tools, explore risk, and understand how to access resources to move forward with a new business. Parkland has been offering the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac NewVenture course since the fall 2012 semester; more than two dozen community residents have completed the course.
The Rantoul Business Center aims to reach out to the community and help people who have a goal of starting their own business but find it difficult to enroll in traditional courses at Parkland or the University of Illinois. The program is a service of the East Central Illinois University Center, a partnership among local educational institutions and business development resources to promote and foster entrepreneurship in the region.
Spaces are still available, though limited, in the program. The course fee, including instruction and student manuals, is $100. To register, call Community Education at 217/353-2055; mail in the registration form in Parkland’s 505
noncredit brochure (see www.parkland.edu/communityed
to download); or apply online through the My.parkland student portal: my.parkland.edu/
. Questions may be directed to FastTrac facilitator and Parkland instructor Mark Kesler (firstname.lastname@example.org
or 217/351-2213) or to University of Illinois representative Laura Bleill (email@example.com