EDA HOSTS “OPEN DOOR DAY FOR ENTREPRENEURS” IN SUPPORT OF STATE EFFORTS TO ENCOURAGE SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH
Trenton, N.J. (December 20, 2007) – More than 35 new and aspiring business owners will have a better chance of moving forward with their business ideas thanks to the guidance and information they acquired at a recent “Open Door Day for Entrepreneurs” hosted by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). The event was designed to support Governor Jon S. Corzine’s Economic Growth Strategy to foster the growth of small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities.
The event provided an opportunity for graduates of the EDA’s Entrepreneurial Training Institute (ETI) to present their business plans to a panel of business service professionals to receive feedback and determine if their companies were ready to apply for funding. In addition to the presentations, representatives from small business assistance organizations and several state agencies including the Office of Economic Growth, the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the NJ Commerce Commission, and the NJ State Library were on-site to consult with each of the attendees. Participants received guidance on essential processes required to launch and grow a business, such as registering their company, obtaining appropriate certification, and the various types of lending programs available through the State.
“Entrepreneurs are so busy operating their small businesses that it is important for them to have a clear path to knowledgeable resources,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini. “Our goal through ‘Open Door Day’ is to provide this opportunity.”
The event also marked the 15th anniversary of the ETI program, which has graduated approximately 1,300 people since it was established in 1992. In the last six years, graduates have received over $28 million in financing. Many graduates are currently on their way to establishing their own business or are already successful entrepreneurs.
“ETI was very supportive in helping me put together a detailed business plan, which I had never really done before,” said Laura Kellett, a recent ETI graduate. “I learned that opening a business is a process, not an event. A simple point that has been tremendously beneficial to me as I look to expand my business.”
Kellett graduated from the ETI program this December, and presented her business plan to the panel of small business service professionals at “Open Door Day.” In June 2007, Kellett opened LJK Enterprises Limited, a real estate brokerage and redevelopment company. She is seeking funding to expand her business based in West New York.
At the first “Open Door Day” held in June 2007, 90-percent of the businesses that requested funding were deemed ready for growth, and moved forward to apply for financing consideration from a pool of potential lenders.
The EDA is an independent, self-sustaining state financing and development agency that works to promote economic growth, job creation and the revitalization of New Jersey’s communities with financing assistance, technical support and entrepreneurial training, and real estate development activities.
For information on business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov.