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SBDC Conference invites business community to ‘Dream and Discover’

Posted: April 20, 2010 3:18 p.m.
Updated: April 21, 2010 3:15 p.m.
The Small Business Development Center at College of the Canyons is encouraging current and future small business owners, students and community members to think entrepreneurially and embrace their dreams, at the 2010 ‘Dream and Discover' Entrepreneurs Conference.

Featuring a lineup of inspiring keynote speakers and interactive workshops, the ‘Dream and Discover' conference will provide tips for business owners and entrepreneurs alike, while informing attendees about the wide range of available SBDC services and programs - including the i3 Advanced Technology Incubator (ATI) and Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP!).

"This year's ‘Dream and Discover' conference will again provide attendees with access to the critical resources that aspiring and successful local business owners need to thrive in today's economic climate, along with the chance to meet with other successful entrepreneurs and listen to a panel of outstanding speakers who will inspire them to reach new heights," said Steve Tannehill, director of the SBDC at College of the Canyons.

To open the conference, members of the college's Economic Development Division will familiarize attendees with the college's various economic based programs and partnerships.

Later in the day SBDC business advisors will lead a series of interactive workshops providing tips for business owners and current/future entrepreneurs alike. Topics will include how to finance your business, the utilization of marketing tools and key success strategies for entrepreneurs, while also focusing on how the SBDC can help achieve those goals.

As a special highlight for attendees involved in the SBDC's YEP! program, Paul Butler, client partner at New Leaf Training and Development will deliver a speech aimed at inspiring young entrepreneurs during the afternoon's keynote address.

Targeting young people between the ages of 14 and 27, YEP! offers free business counseling and business training programs delivered through a variety of outreach and delivery methods, including websites, blogs, social networking sites, virtual reality games, youth-oriented trainers and business simulation products.

The goal of the program is to guide and encourage young people to consider careers in self-employment and small business ownership.

A key financial contributor to the ‘Dream and Discover' conference, the YEP! program is hosted by the SBDC at College of the Canyons and funded by a grant from the California Community College Chancellor's Office.

"This is the first time that the ‘Dream and Discover' Conference will showcase the impressive accomplishments of our young entrepreneurs and incorporate speakers and workshops that address the particular challenges they face," said Nina Grooms Lee, YEP! program director. "We think this will bring a fresh and important perspective to the conference that will enlighten all conference attendees."

To conclude the conference, the SBDC will present a networking reception and trade fair designed to allow both aspiring and successful entrepreneurs meet, mingle, trade business tips and promote their companies or business ventures.

For technology based companies and new start ups, the trade fair will provide an added opportunity to learn more about the SBDC's i3 Advanced Technology Incubator.

Specifically targeted at technology-minded entrepreneurs in the early stages of launching a business, the ATI ‘incubates' technology-based start-up companies by offering access to a wide range of support services focused on each client's long-term success.

The 2010 ‘Dream and Discover' conference will take place from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 13, in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, located on the college's Valencia campus.

Admission to the conference is free, however attendees must register online in order to attend.

Conference sponsors include: Six Flags Magic Mountain, New Leaf Training, Gothic Landscape, High Impact Event Resources, Six Six One Products, as well as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the California Community College Economic and Workforce Development program (EWD).

The ‘Dream and Discover' conference is part of the college's ongoing 40th Anniversary celebration.

"We want to make sure the SBDC's many programs and services are readily available to all those who may benefit from them," said Tannehill. "We're proud that in spite of these challenging economic times, thanks in large part to our sponsors, the SBDC is able to offer the ‘Dream and Discover' conference free of charge to all attendees."



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