Whether you already own a business or you’re thinking about starting one, Franklin Mora, director of QEDC’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP), encourages you to get involved in the five- to ten-week EAP training course.
“We help entrepreneurs come up with a well-developed business plan and ask them to take into consideration everything from A to Z,” he said.
Classes are taught by professionals such as finance experts, lawyers, and other entrepreneurs. Networking breakfast events, lectures by special speakers and workshops like the recent small business tax clinic are also available to EAP participants.
Upon graduation, participants have a better understanding of where they want to go with their business plan, even if that means putting it aside.
“In the end, it’s minimizing risk,” said Mora. “Someone may ultimately decide not to go into business, but that’s the best choice instead of going into business and not being successful.”
The EAP has seen clients through the launching of many different types of businesses, from day care centers to coffee shops to service organizations. QEDC also holds the annual Queens Business Startup Plan Competition, in which the first place winner receives $12,000 to launch his/her business plan. Another $12,000 is divided between eight other winners. The deadline for this year’s competition is April 6.
Mora would like more people to look to QEDC as a source of business-related information. He cited as an example the pool of contracts the city is making available to Minority and Women's Business Enterprises (MWBE). QEDC streamlines the process for entrepreneurs by assisting them with the paperwork required to get registered as an MWBE business.
Even if QEDC can’t assist a client with an issue, it will refer them to someone else who can.
“We make sure our clients have all the tools they need to get into business,” said Mora. “It takes awhile but it’s a great reward to see things work out in the end.”
For more information about the EAP program or QEDC, visit www.queensny.org or call 718-263-0546.