‘Recasting’ the seminar: Community Training Sessions’ provides education for aspiring – and current – entrepreneurs

‘Recasting’ the seminar: Community Training Sessions’ provides education for aspiring – and current – entrepreneurs

The seminar model is a familiar one: Signup. Attend the event. Go home with some valuable info. But what if a seminar on topics you really cared about were expanded over the course of three months with two options per week?

That’s the premise behind Flint ReCAST’s “Community Training Sessions,” which will run from June 25 to August 24 and targets “community members, non-profit organizations and aspiring entrepreneurs,” with an aim to develop “the talents” of those in the Flint community. All sessions are free to attend and will be held twice (a week) to ensure every interested person is able to attend.

Kris Johns, Flint ReCAST program coordinator, is excited for people to experience a different kind of seminar. The purpose isn’t to upend the familiar, he notes, rather, it’s to build on the needs of those Flint residents interested in starting a business.

The Flint ReCAST-supported business series provides more highly-segmented educational sessions designed to meet participants from start-ups to stay ups “at whatever point they are at in the business process.” Hoffman Deco Deli & Cafe owner Heath Hoffman photo courtesy of Metro Community Development 

“The goal of these sessions is to help people start their dream,” Johns says. “Whether that be in business, serving their community, or even offering their skills to others.”

Some of the questions the sessions will tackle are: What is your mission? What is your vision? “How to find partners? How to write an ‘Ask letter?’ All the way down to finding grants,” Johns adds.

“We broke these out into six sessions. They’re all free. You can attend one or all six. The people who are participating are members of organizations that serve the community. There is a desire to see people succeed.”

FOX66 reporter Jasmyn Durham interviewed Flint ReCAST  program director Kris Johns and Pastor Greg Timmons about the upcoming series of seminars aimed at kick-staring dreams. Click here to see the FOX66 interview.

Success might even be summed up by examining access to information and education. If an individual doesn’t have a viable road map, how can they put a plan together?

“Ultimately, the hope is that people can use this in their day jobs, and to better themselves and use it to help their community, and to help Flint,” Johns says. “When people see the growth, they often refer to downtown, I also see the people working in their neighborhoods on the east side, on the north side, (and) I can tell you people that are trying to do good things in the neighborhoods.”

According to Johns, the first six sessions will serve as a template for future sessions. We’re a partnership,” he says. “We are six organizations coming together to provide this to our constituents.”

Metro Community Development’s Commercial Loan Manager Marcus Rankins says the seminars provide a resource everyone from the would-be entrepreneur to the “next stage” business growth. 

Metro Community Development is one of the partners involved in organizing the “Community Training Sessions,” and Marcus Rankins, a commercial lending manager is confident the sessions will have a real impact.

“We’re here to provide a resource for community members,” Rankins says. “If someone was in that interim phase where they don’t know … if they’re looking at starting a business and find exactly where to go – this workshop could fill that void for them.”

As Flint turns the corner from the water crisis, it’s important to not only begin the healing process, but to find ways to build up the citizenry, starting with access to entrepreneurship.

“I think entrepreneurs play an integral part especially in the Flint area,” Rankins says. “It’s crucial for entrepreneurs to find their niche and start their business. We also know that small business owners tend to hire within their own community. I don’t think there’s ever a bad time to start a business.”

With a 90-minute format spread across several weeks, the seminar can satiate the curious, as well as provide some steps for getting started.

“People in Flint are curious – they want to know,” Johns says. “They want to serve their communities. People are already inspired, they just need a way to start.”

Event sponsors include TheHUB Flint, City of Flint, Flint Innovative Solutions, Hamilton Community Health Network, Hasselbring Senior Center, Metro Community Development, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR),  and University of Michigan-Flint.

For more information about Flint ReCAST’s “Community Training Sessions,” visit ReCAST’s Facebook page. To register for a session, visit Eventbrite

Other questions can be directed to Kris Johns at 810-348-4437 or projectrecast@cityofflint.com.

Lead photo of Jason Mathews courtesy of Factory Two, a community maker space in historic downtown Flint, MI, empowering and transforming our community through learning, sharing, and creating. It will be hosting a Maker Fest on September 21 at the Flint Farmers’ Market. 

RECAST SEMINAR SCHEDULE

Session 1: Identifying Your Vision, Audience & Inspirations
The session will cover the importance of developing a statement about your “why.”

 

Session 2: Getting Legal: Setting Up Your Organization

The session will cover the various options available to individuals looking to start a venture; for-
profit business, non-profit organization and fiscal fiduciary.

Tuesday, June 25 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

MSU College of Human Medicine Flint Campus

200 E. First Street

Flint, MI 48502

Saturday, June 29; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Hasselbring Senior Center

1002 W Home Ave.

Flint, MI 48505

 

Session 3: Writing An “Ask Letter”

The session will prepare participants to ask for support; financial, labor and organizational
assistance.

Tuesday, July 9; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

MSU College of Human Medicine Flint Campus

200 E. First Street

Flint, MI 48502

Saturday, July 13; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Hasselbring Senior Center

1002 W Home Ave.

Flint, MI 48505

Session 4: Get Noticed – Promote Your Effort through the Press & Social Media

The session will show participants how to get more attention for their effort using the local
media and social media.

 Tuesday, July 23; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

MSU College of Human Medicine Flint Campus

200 E. First Street

Flint, MI 48502

Saturday, July 27; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Hasselbring Senior Center

1002 W Home Ave.

Flint, MI 48505

Session 5: Letters of Support & Partnerships

The session will cover the importance of letters of support and partnerships to grant applications.

Tuesday, Aug. 6; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

MSU College of Human Medicine Flint Campus

200 E. First Street

Flint, MI 48502

Saturday, Aug. 10; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Hasselbring Senior Center

1002 W Home Ave.

Flint, MI 48505

 

Session 6: Finding Grants
The session will teach participants how to search for grants using publicly available resources.

 Tuesday, Aug. 20; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

MSU College of Human Medicine Flint Campus

200 E. First Street

Flint, MI 48502

Saturday, Aug. 24; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Hasselbring Senior Center

1002 W Home Ave.

Flint, MI 48505

 

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