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Virtual cohort for Early-Stage Business Bootcamp launches soon

Registration open for free course July 25 – Sept. 12.

Small businesses are having a big moment in Missouri. The Early-Stage Business Boot Camp, designed with aspiring entrepreneurs and new small business owners in mind, has successfully graduated nearly 130 entrepreneurs across the southern part of the state since December.

The first virtual cohort of this program launches July 25. Previously offered only in-person in the southern part of the state, the virtual program removes geographical barriers and allows anyone in Missouri to participate.

“This program is so impactful to our participants as they navigate how to start and grow their business,” said Sandra Smart, business consultant and technology and commercialization specialist at the Missouri SBDC at MSU.

It’s the mission of the Southern Missouri Innovation Network (Innovate SOMO), Missouri State University’s efactory partnership with Codefi, to open up pathways for greater earning potential and invigorate the statewide economy.

These boot camps are one essential piece to making that happen. Participants will:

  • Join a peer network of small business owners.
  • Learn from successful entrepreneurs and guest speakers.
  • Discover resources that they’ll need to start and grow a business.
  • Find best practices for business planning.

Building foundation

In the program, participants learn foundational knowledge and skills about starting and growing a business, including topics like:

  • Market research and analysis.
  • Protecting your business and intellectual property.
  • Financial management and projections.
  • Marketing channels and reaching customer segments.
  • Building, compensating and managing your team.
  • Accessing capital.
“What sets the program apart from others is that we don’t just talk about these things, we connect participants with local resources and encourage them to work through their business plans and financial projections during the sessions,” Smart said.

Thanks to grant funding through the Southern Missouri Innovation Network (Innovate SOMO), the Early-Stage Business Boot Camp if offered throughout the state – all at no costs to participants.

Registration is now open for the first virtual cohort of the program. The 8-workshop series is set for July 25 – Sept. 12, 2024.