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NEWS

Jan. 17, 2006

RSU Develops Online Entrepreneurial Training Program

Rogers State University's Innovation Center has developed an online training program to assist entrepreneurs in planning and operating a successful business.

The Virtual Entrepreneurship Training Program will feature 10 self-paced, online modules on topics covering business planning, taxes, marketing, management and more. The program was developed by RSU's Innovation Center staff with input from RSU's business faculty. Program enrollment is $95, which includes individual support from Innovation Center staff via email, phone, videoconferencing or face-to-face meetings.

Participants also receive a book guiding them through the course and that can be used for reference once the course is completed. Those who complete the online course will receive a certificate of completion from the Innovation Center.

The Innovation Center (formerly the Center for Economic and Community Development) is charged with fostering economic development and addressing the educational needs of area business and industry in northeastern Oklahoma. The center provides business counseling services and training for area entrepreneurs and expanding businesses in northeastern Oklahoma, and the online training component was a natural extension of the center's services, said Dr. Ray Brown, RSU vice president for economic and community development.

"The majority of small businesses fail within the first few years because they do not plan adequately and they  have insufficient resources which is often attributed to poor planning," Brown said. "The Virtual Entrepreneurship Training Program provides a convenient framework for entrepreneurs to develop and follow a business plan that will increase the likelihood of their success."

The Innovation Center offers business workshops throughout the year that address similar entrepreneurial topics. However, Brown said his office wanted to develop a more comprehensive online program that would remove the barriers of time and travel that might keep people from participating.

"The online delivery method allows the program to be available 24/7, which will let participants take full advantage of the program by working at their own pace at times that are convenient for them," he said.

Interested participants in the online entrepreneurial training program should register to attend one of three orientation sessions this spring given by Innovation Center staff:

Saturday, Feb. 4, 10 a.m.-noon, presented by Michael Reidy

Monday, March 6, 1 p.m.-3 p.m., presented by Jeri Koehler

Tuesday, April 18, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., presented by Lynn Wilson

These sessions are free and will provide an overview of the material, as well as provide tips for how participants can get the most from the program. The orientation sessions will be held at the Innovation Center, located at 2000 University Drive on the Claremore campus.

To register or learn more about the program, call (918) 343-7533 or email innovation@rsu.edu.