February 6, 2014
Running a small business presents a variety of challenges and more than 60 percent of small businesses don’t even last five years. It’s a daunting statistic, but the Kansas City, Missouri Community Development (KCMO CDE) is ready to help businesses succeed through a 16-week workshop, WIBO (Workshop in Business Opportunities): How to Build a Growing and Profitable Business. Geared toward individuals currently operating a business or are planning to start a business, WIBO has a proven track record with more than 54 percent of graduates still in business after five years compared to the national average of 20 percent. Kansas City’s first WIBO class graduated in January and new participants are being recruited for the spring workshop which begins Feb. 25.
“Entrepreneurship is a path to economic empowerment for many residents in our service areas,” said Ruben Alonso, Executive Director of the KCMO CDE. “We are thrilled to offer this one-of-a-kind program to equip entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed and realize their dreams.”
One of the areas being targeted for the program is Historic Northeast, said KCMO CDE Program Manager Christine Kahm.
WIBO sets itself apart from other entrepreneurship and business skills training programs in several ways. No. 1, it is comprehensive and intense. Many training programs take place over a day, weekend, or several times a month. WIBO participants meet together one evening a week for four months. This rigorous and extended schedule allows each participant to explore and learn about a full range of topics associated with running a successful business, like marketing, sales, pricing strategy, human resources, financial management and more. In addition, the instruction method is peer and mentor based discussion.
WIBO is designed for participants to graduate with the skills and confidence to make sound business decisions, in addition to having an executable business plan.
The workshop curriculum is delivered entirely by volunteers, creating a built-in network of support and contacts. WIBO’s facilitators are successful business owners and professionals who volunteer to add their real-life experience to the already extensive curriculum. Each cohort of participants experiences a unique combination of learning while building useful and supportive relationships.
KCMO CDE is currently accepting applications for its upcoming WIBO course and applications are due Feb. 14. Classes begin Feb. 25. Interested small business owners and entrepreneurs should contact Christine Kahm, 816.216.1851 ext. 1113, or visit www.kcmocde.org for more information.