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The Business Academy for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs (BASE) Camp is an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn more about the important elements of business ownership to be successful.

Goal of BASE Camp:

To provide an educational resource and a network of support for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and those looking to grow or expand their products or services to build a successful and thriving business.

Attendees are encouraged to register for the full five-class series to gain the full depth of business knowledge offered by professionals.  As an additional incentive to complete all five classes, graduates will be offered the opportunity to compete in a Business Pitch Competition for the potential to win $2,000 in cash prizes to help grow their business!

Those attending all five classes will also be given a binder of materials to complete during the course that will serve as a business plan and guide for the first few years of business development.

The registration fee for five-class BASE Camp Series is $200. However, a scholarship is available to cover $150 of the fee. For more information on the scholarship and to complete the application, please click here.

Courses are available individually, as well. If you are interested in just one course, please register for the date and topic that best suits you.

Who is invited to attend BASE Camp?

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs
  • New business owners
  • Small business owners who are looking to grow and thrive

In addition, this program is especially designed for informal entrepreneurs who are moving from an idea phase to a formal business model, minority entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses. Minority and women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of small business development and BASE Camp courses are designed to create further opportunities to provide education and a framework for success.

How are BASE Camp classes formatted?

BASE Camp education and resources will be outlined in five classes over 10 weeks starting at 6 pm. Participants are encouraged to register for the entire series, but individual class registration is available, as well. Scholarships are offered for participants who request financial assistance for the full five-class course.

Classes will be 2-3 hours in length and held in person at the Greater Freeport Partnership office (110 W. Main St., Freeport). Local experts will instruct the class each week with verbal and interactive instruction and activities to help attendees understand and apply business principles.

Class Content and Dates Include:

January 30 – Getting Started: Evaluating Your Plans, the Power of the Business Plan & Market Assessment

This class will cover the importance of building a plan before making major investments in a business, discuss the elements of a business plan, forecasting skills, market and competitor research, ways a business plan can be used and more. Class participants will be encouraged to bring a computer. The class will allow time for participants to start building their business plan on the Gale Business Suite or the SBDC Business Wheel program.

February 13 – Corporate Structure, Accounting & Insurance

This class will discuss the importance of setting up a company structure  that works the best for each business. From corporate structure, accounting systems, insurance and other protections, participants will learn about the implications their early decisions have on their business’ tax liability, cash flow, and other aspects of their business.

February 27 – Show Me the Money: Finances, Sources of Revenue & Taxes

This class will discuss sources of revenue for start-ups and businesses that are in operation, pros and cons of various sources of funding and revenue, and tax implications for start-up businesses.

March 12 – Getting the Word out: Marketing, Websites, Social Media & Public Relations

This class will focus on the many strategies to attract and retain customers. Marketing, advertising, social media, websites, public relations will all be discussed. This class will include a high-level review of business websites, search engines, do’s and don’ts for social media, adopting your business brand, and identifying target markets.

March 26 – The Rest of the Story: Real Estate, Staffing Regulations & Licensing

As businesses evolve from the kitchen table to a storefront, there are a number of considerations to be addressed including finding an appropriate location, making smart hiring decisions, and complying with local and state regulations and licensing. This class will discuss tips and advice on these areas that can make or break a business.

Key Industries

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Construction, Plumbing, Heating, & Service

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Private Label Food Manufacturing

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