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“What if we told them they could also be their own bosses?”
Pinellas County’s Small Business Development Center Brings Entrepreneurship to Job Corps
Of the many misconceptions surrounding entrepreneurship, there may be no other as pervasive and mistaken as that of age.
That’s exactly what’s happening at the Pinellas County Job Corps Center, thanks to a partnership between Job Corps and the SBDC at PCED. In addition to the academic and career training that are the heart of Job Corps’ program, students recently had the opportunity to participate in an eight-week series of entrepreneurship classes presented by the SBDC. From the basics of how to identify a sound business idea, through choosing a legal structure and developing marketing plans, to creating a plan for future growth, students learned through hands-on activities all aspects of entrepreneurship.
“Kids don’t typically say, ‘When I finish school, I want to own my own business!’” attests Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED). “They say they want to be doctors, police officers, teachers – those are all terrific goals and important careers. But what if we told them they could also be their own bosses? That they could turn a talent, an idea, a hobby into a career? And then, what if we gave them the tools and skills to do it? What if we showed them that entrepreneurship is for anyone, at any age?”
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Local Support Aids iDatix Expansion in Clearwater
Software company iDatix recently opened its new headquarters building in Clearwater, Florida, strengthening the company’s presence in Pinellas County. “My roots are here in Pinellas,” shares iDatix CEO and Founder Steve Allen. “I grew up in the area and launched iDatix here thirteen years ago. The County and City of Clearwater have been superb supporters of the business community; I wouldn’t have wanted to expand anywhere else.”
iDatix is a provider of high-quality software solutions and support services to a wide variety of industry sectors, such as national defense, manufacturing, healthcare and banking. Clients include industry giants Capital One and Tropicana.
“We are dedicated to providing the best products from the best staff in the software industry,” says Allen. “And that was part of the draw to expand in Pinellas – the talent pool here. We’re able to hire developers and programmers locally with the advanced skills we need in order to continue the company’s growth.” Click to read more...
Cerulean Blu Swim & Resort Wear Boutique – Start-Up Success in St. Petersburg
In a new shop on St. Petersburg, Florida’s Beach Drive, Desiree Noisette is redefining swimsuit shopping. At Cerulean BluSwim & Resort Wear Boutique, customers are treated to a wide array of styles to enhance any figure, showcased in a spa-like shop that features a relaxing lounge, flattering lighting elements, and personalized fitting services. “I saw the opportunity to bring something new to the local swimwear market,” explains Noisette, “something that would make swimsuit shopping a confidence-building, fun experience.”
“The swimwear market is one of the hottest retail markets in the Tampa Bay area,” says Wayne Brass, Area Manager and Certified Business Analyst at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED). “Desiree brought an innovative approach to a dependable market with excellent results.”
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Yoga Business is Sublime in Pinellas
Jason and Jade Seibert love yoga. In fact, they fell in love attending yoga class together. As their love for yoga and each other grew, they decided the time was right to open their own studio, Sublime Yoga, in their hometown of Dunedin. But before they did, they contacted Kurt Forster, a Certified Business Consultant at the Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development. “Starting a business can be a confusing process for so many new entrepreneurs,” explains Kurt. “Our goal at the SBDC is to help folks like the Seiberts take a big idea and break it down into manageable parts.” Click to read more of this story...
Retired U.S. Army Veteran Ronald Gadsden wanted to start his own business and he found the right opportunity in a Postal Annex franchise, located in Clearwater, Florida. As with many first-time entrepreneurs, I went into this pretty blind and didn't know about all the different aspects of running a business, says Gadsden. But a visit to Teresa Citron at Florida Bank, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) partner, provided a link to a wealth of small business assistance. Citron explains, Instantly I thought to send him to the SBDC at Pinellas County Economic Development.
The SBDC at Pinellas County Economic Development is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.