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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2017

MUM receives $46,500 grant to offer business seminars to community

By Nicole Major | Oct 03, 2017

Maharishi University of Management will soon be spreading its educational reach to the entire Jefferson County community, when it launches a series of business development courses to the public.

“There are a couple of reasons why we are doing this,” said M.U.M.’s grant administrator David Goodman. “Incubators don’t work without heat, and heat is knowledge, so it’s a way for M.U.M. professors to provide a service that’s not just to the students, but also to improve the job outlook in Fairfield. Rather than just being in an academic environment, this is a great way to reach out to the community. We’re hoping for eight new jobs and an increase in revenue in the community as a result of this program.”

Goodman helped the university obtain a $46,500 United States Department of Agriculture Business Development Grant to offer fee seminars and workshops to help local businesses grow to the next level.

M.U.M.’s college of business will offer 15-one hour seminars and 20 four-part workshops that were created from responses to community surveys.

The program will offer seminars, workshops and subsequent mentorships free to small businesses, which are defined by the USDA as companies having less than 50 employees and less than $1 million in annual revenues. The general public is also invited to attend.

“The seminars are free unless a company has $1 million in annual revenue or more or 50 or more employees; if that’s the case, it’s $5 per person,” he said, commenting that very few firms in Jefferson County would fit into that category.

“Some of the more established companies might be able to benefit from diving deep into their data to provide better services or products to their customers,” Goodman said.

Goodman said 100 percent of the program’s offerings would take place away from MUM’s campus.

“That’s the point of it being an outreach program. All of these will take place off the campus,” he said, further explaining that locations had to be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, and classes could take place any town in Jefferson County, such as Lockridge, Packwood or anywhere in Fairfield.

“We’re hoping to offer some of them at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center,” he said.

The one-hour seminars will cover a broad myriad business subjects, such as business planning and development, marketing, sales and strategy, legal and regulatory issues, management and leadership and accounting and taxation.

Goodman said that the four-part workshops provide more in-depth investigations into those subjects.

The public is encouraged to participate in a 20-minute online survey at https://www.research.net/r/biz_training to provide better insight into community interests.

“The education and training being planned is soup to nuts what a manager needs,” said Goodman’s assistant Karen Ballinger. “People should consider attending many of these seminars and workshops.”

Ballinger is currently an MBA student at MUM.

“We’re planning a launch party later this month,” Goodman said. “The date is being finalized by our partners, which include the Fairfield Economic Development Association, the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Pathfinders RC & D, the Fairfield CoLab, the Fairfield Entrepreneurs Association and SCORE.”

For more information, contact Goodman at 451-1793 or biztraining@mum.edu.

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