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Small business classes planned

August 8, 2012
Lehigh Acres Citizen

During the "Great Recession," more Americans have become entrepreneurs than at any time in the past 15 years. Yet, the U.S. Small Business Administration claims that more than half of these businesses will fail in the first five years.

The Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project hopes to increase the number of successful small businesses in Lehigh Acres. The program, which provides small business training for people with low-to-moderate income or other disadvantages, will begin a new session on Aug. 14.

Applications are available at:

Program participants will complete a six-week training course, made up of three-hour classes on Tuesday and Friday evenings at the Lee County Sherriff's office, at 1301 Homestead Road.

Mentors will work directly with participants to help the potential small business owners prepare a business plan. Since the launch of the program in 2010, 86 entrepreneurs have graduated from the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project.

At the end of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to apply for small startup grants and microloans to help launch their new business ventures. Program managers hope that by providing small business training and avenues for funding, the Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise project will spark economic growth locally.

The SWFL MicroEnterprise Project is administered by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida. Program partners include the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Southwest Florida Enterprise Center, Cape Coral Economic Development Office, Fifth Third Bank, Florida Community Bank, Lee County Department of Human Services, and the Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce.

Persons interested in applying to the program, or who would like to mentor future small business owners, may call (239) 995-2106, ext. 219.

Visit: for more information.

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida helps people with disabilities and other disadvantages overcome their barriers to employment and independence. Goodwill programs include Job-Link, the Goodwill L.I.F.E. Academy charter school, income-subsidized housing, and others.

More information is available at:



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