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Opportunity Knocks for Businesses, Transitioning Health Care Workers in Mon Valley

In the wake of health care changes, particularly in the Mon Valley, Duquesne University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering assistance to health care workers who might be considering starting a business, as well as to existing businesses in the community.

These two free SBDC programs, which are starting in March, could impact the entire community because, nationwide, small businesses account for more than half of a community's jobs-and an even higher percentage of new jobs, said Dr. Mary McKinney, executive director.

"The programs target transitioning health care employees who may have lost jobs due to hospital changes and also offer assistance to businesses in communities where hospitals and other businesses have closed," McKinney explained. "The programs are geared to the Allegheny County portion of the Mon Valley, but really, residents from any community affected can be included.

Time to Become an Entrepreneur is specially designed to help independent-minded, organized individuals start businesses. The program provides the necessary tools and strategies to enable individuals to transform their business ideas into successful enterprises. The program includes:

  • Hands-on and online training on writing a business plan
  • Pitching the plan
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Starting and growing businesses
  • Peer roundtables
  • Supplemental outside mentoring.

The SBDC also is offering the Mon Valley Outreach Program to help existing small businesses increase sales and profits. For over 20 weeks, SBDC consultants will work, hands-on, with business owners and management on specific action items to help reach their growth objectives, providing structured, one-to-one counseling and mentoring.

Consulting and roundtable topics include:

  • Export sales
  • Energy-saving opportunities
  • Website creation and effective use
  • Marketing
  • Procurement
  • Green initiatives
  • Quality and environmental management
  • Finance.

For more information or to register for either program, contact 412.396.1633 or visit www.duq.edu/sbdc.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has funded the programs.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.