Starting a business at any time is a difficult proposition. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, it can seem nearly impossible. But according to a number of organizations – both public and private – engaged in helping small business, starting a business today is a good idea. And they are willing to help entrepreneurs who want to take the plunge.
“In a down economy it’s a great time to start a business if you plan right and have enough capital to get you through,” said Tamarah Bacon, business-development and assistance manager for the South Eastern Economic Development Corp., or SEED. “If you have a good business model and a good product or service, and you keep expenses low, you should make it through this economy and then do better when things pick up.”
SEED is a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Taunton that is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration and was created 30 years ago to improve the economy of the region by helping small businesses. Throughout the year, the agency offers free workshops and seminars to help potential entrepreneurs start or increase their business.
Despite its Bay State roots, SEED holds workshops across Rhode Island as well as southeastern Massachusetts. Its basic entrepreneurship workshop features the fundamentals of financial statements and are held monthly or even more frequently based on the demand.
“They’ve offered the workshops on how to start your own business for as long as I’ve been here, at least the last seven years,” said Bacon, who organizes and produces the workshops as well as teaches ownership basics.
She said the workshops are in demand. “Depending on the venue, we’ve done workshops with anywhere from 10 to 45 people,” she said. “There has always been a lot of interest.”
One slight shift is that more people with small businesses are attending and refreshing their skills. “We’ve had an increase in existing businesses attending the workshops. They’re trying to do something a little different to make it through the economy,” Bacon said.