Helping dislocated workers become entrepreneurs

May 8, 2009

A program by The FastTrac® NewVenture aims to help dislocated workers evaluate business opportunities and develop an action plan for owning their own business.

The Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) has teamed with the Genesee/Shiawassee Michigan Works-Career Alliance to bring the FastTrac® NewVenture™ entrepreneurship training course to displaced workers in mid-Michigan.

The six-week program will be held at KetteringUniversity, corner of Chevrolet and University Avenues on Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., May 26 through June 30. Registration is limited to 30 participants and the deadline to register is Tuesday, May 19. To register, visit or call the Region 6 office of MI-SBTDC at 810-762-9660.  

Eligible dislocated workers will receive a 100 percent scholarship of the $700 tuition fee through “No Worker Left Behind” funding. Eligibility is determined by Michigan Works-Career Alliance and participants must be pre-registered. To determine eligibility, contact Carol Piesko at theFlint Career Alliance office, 810-233-5974, ext. 348.  Eligible participants must complete an orientation on Tuesday, May 19, from 2-4 p.m. at the Michigan Works-Career Alliance office at 711 N. Saginaw in Flint. 

The training is also open to anyone interested in completing a comprehensive business planning course, is appropriate for early stage businesses as well as pre-start planning, and limited scholarship assistance is available through other sponsorships. The sessions will be facilitated by Harry Blecker and Marsha Lyttle of the Region 6 MI-SBTDC. 

The course offers a ten-step planning process covered in six weeks, in which participants will develop their business concept. Readingsand research, activities and action steps in and out of class will guide entrepreneurs to plan and analyze their business vision by creating a thoroughly researched and actionable business plan. It offers non-traditional, experiential learning with hands-on coaching sessions. Opportunities to network and learn from peers as well as the facilitator, business consultants, and guest speakers are a key part of the experience.

The NewVenture™ for Dislocated Workers program is a partnership with the Kauffman Foundation and the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, whose headquarters are located at Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business.


TheMichiganSmallBusiness & Technology Development Center provides counseling, training and advocacy forMichigan’s new business ventures, existing small businesses, expanding new businesses, new technology companies, and innovators. The MI-SBTDC is located at the Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids,Michigan. As host of the MI-SBTDC State Headquarters, the Seidman College of Business oversees the twelve-region MI-SBTDC network. Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest MI-SBTDC by calling (616) 331.7480 or visiting