MANSFIELD — The North End Community Improvement Collaborative (NECIC) has announced a business plan writing course and microloan program for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs.
The nine-session course will guide new business owners and potential entrepreneurs through the process of writing a business plan that can be used to launch a start-up.
“We really want this to pave a pathway to prosperity for people with great ideas who have run into barriers in the past,” said NECIC research and development coordinator, Edward Akinyemi.
The course, led by a certified business advisor, covers executive summaries, business descriptions, market analysis, financial projections and more.
Upon completing the course, students are then eligible to apply for a microloan from NECIC for no fee. Applicants must complete the course to be eligible to apply for a microloan. Loans begin at $500.
The first course begins Thursday, Jan. 31 and continues through Feb. 28 with a graduation. The classes will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at NECIC, 134 N Main St., where attendance is mandatory. This course will be available throughout the year, so people are encouraged to apply for a later session if they can’t attend the first session.
The cost to attend the business plan writing course is $50. Scholarships are available.
To be eligible, applicants must low- to moderate-income Richland County residents. They must be U.S. citizens and age 18 or older.
Further, the class is meant for individuals with start-ups making less than $200,000 in annual revenue and those who are serious about starting a business.
The course and microloan program were created out of NECIC’s community economic development plan, which included data collection and surveys focused in the north end of Mansfield.
“We asked what they’d like to see in the community, and they said more locally owned businesses, more African-American owned businesses and more businesses within walking distance,” Akinyemi said.
The course and microloan program are meant to address these three concerns. They are funded by a grant from the Ohio Community Development Corporation Association, and NECIC is still looking for local match money to grow the loan pool.
To find out more information, visit necic-ohio.org or call Akinyemi at 419-522-1611, Ext. 127.