It's the question that venture capitalists ask before funding a new venture. It's the question that incubators ask before inviting someone into their entrepreneur program. It's the question every potential new business should be able to answer before their launch. So when I'm having trouble answering that question myself, is it a sign?
It's a sign that I'm not getting the financial support here to know--and that other people are probably asking themselves--is anybody going to care if they can attend community business education classes in their neighborhood? Speaking with people, I get resounding support from anyone who has ever had a bad business dealing. That doesn't mean, though, that people are going to take an evening away from home to attend a seminar, or put up the money to attend a series of classes. A recent article in The Tennessean talked about the shrinking budget of the Nashville Community Education Commission (which is government funded) and that many people thought the Commission had dissolved. Ugh. That is not a good sign. Maybe the government funding wasn't enough to support the Commission's marketing and outreach budget. Or maybe the business classes being offered by the Commission, covering things like Microsoft software and social networking for businesses, aren't comprehensive enough. I have ideas for so many more classes, so many more opportunities to expand knowledge for people looking to advance their careers and people looking to start new careers or hoping to start a business. I cannot be alone in the wish for more affordable opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship without yet having a full business plan in place. Of course there are others wondering how to get ahead on a meager budget, but are they motivated enough to go to small community classes that don't lead to a degree or certificate, that might only last for one session or five sessions and cost $100? The government-funded program in Nashville isn't doing that well; why?
These are questions into which I'm willing to look further and find the answers. They are the questions that will motivate me to keep talking to people and finding out what they need. There are those out there struggling to keep their families afloat, struggling to provide better opportunities for themselves and their children, who are also motivated to find a way to excel that won't break their bank.
People who haven't purchased the business plan I'm selling to raise money for my own education keep asking me how the fundraising is going, which I find amusing. They believe that everyone else helps, so their contribution isn't necessary. They are so wrong. YOU, reading this right now, must not wait for others: (the original link has been removed; read here for more details). I will move ahead without a Lipscomb degree, pursue a community program on my own, and keep the fundraising going and apply again next year if I get the funds. After all, I'm pushing to create more affordable business education, so I'm motivated by my own desire to avoid student loans. I do hope, though, that you will contribute, ignore the PDF if you don't want to read it (it isn't homework!) and help me become better prepared to help others. If you want to help seed a revolution of better business practices in the areas that need it most, YOU can do your part.
If you are interested yourself in classes to help you get ahead in work, spread the word! Let people know what I'm doing. Community business education will be coming to a neighborhood near YOU!