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The Entrepreneurial Center (EC)

The Entrepreneurial Center (EC), founded in 1985, provides hands-on coaching and business training for new and expanding small business owners, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs. Through business advising, technical assistance, trainings, mentoring programs, and networking events, the EC helps entrepreneurs gain the business skills needed to succeed in the marketplace. The Center offers its services to both men and women.

The Women's Business Center (WBC) is an initiative of the EC. The WBC specializes in serving women in business. Our training and advising are focused on the learning styles, qualities, and particular needs that women bring to business.

The EC also offers a number of special programs during the year. 

How to Start Your Own Small Business

This one-session workshop will meet on:

  • Wednesday, September 7, 6 – 8:30 pm
  • Thursday, September 8, 9:30 am – 12 pm
  • Wednesday, October 5, 6 - 8:30 pm
  • Thursday, October 6, 9:30 am – 12 pm
  • Wednesday November 2, 6 - 8:30 pm
  • Thursday November 3, 9:30 am – 12 pm
  • Wednesday December 7, 6 - 8:30 pm
  • Thursday December 8, 9:30 am – 12 pm

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Move your ideas into action! In this workshop you will learn the steps to get started.

  • Evaluate your business concept in a dynamic group setting and identify challenges
  • Learn how to navigate through the governmental regulations
  • Learn about available resources and plan action steps to reach your goal
  • Explore important considerations in starting or expanding a business including your experience, financial and other resources, available investment capital, and lifestyle needs.

Contracting 101

Friday, September 9, 9:30 am – 12 pm

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

This seminar will cover the registration requirements in order to do business with the State of Connecticut and the Federal Government, websites for locating federal bids over $25,000 and the State’s bid portal where State and Municipal bids can be found and State and Federal Set-aside programs.

Presented in partnership with:
CT PTAP
US SBA CT District Office

Creating a Winning Business Plan   

This one-session workshop will meet on:

  • Wednesday, September 14, 6 – 8 pm
  • Thursday, September 15, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Learn the basics of putting together a business plan and creating your roadmap to success. A winning plan will help you determine the feasibility of your business idea and access the financing you need to start and grow.

 

Grow Your Business with Email & Social Media

Monday, September 12, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

In this workshop you will learn how to make the most of a combined email and social media campaign for your business, what a “campaign” is, what to write and offer, and powerful tips on how to get your messages opened, read, shared, and socially visible. Throughout this session, you’ll be given the opportunity to capture your own ideas and build out the framework of your own “next great campaign”!

Maximize Your Website Traffic with Effective Content

Tuesday, September 20, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Free workshop
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Websites have become an indispensable business tool for every entrepreneur. In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Create easy-to-understand and conversation-based content that is enjoyable for users to read
  • Construct homepage designs, pathway pages, and links that help boost traffic to pages within the site
  • Design effective headings, titles, buttons, and more
  • Organize content so the site is easy to navigate
  • Utilize features that make the website more search engine friendly

Social Media 101: Getting Back to Basics Webinar

Tuesday, September 20, 7 – 8:30 pm

Cost: Free
Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2801972718883625219
Location: Online

This webinar will show you the value of using social media to reach your customers, members, and prospects; how it can drive repeat business from your current customers; and how it can lead to new customers, members, and volunteers! We’ll also look at the 5 most popular social media networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Topics covered include:

  • What each network is about
  • What to post
  • How often to post
  • The business benefit of using each social network

Following registration you will receive an email confirmation regarding information on joining the webinar.

Facebook 101: Getting Started with Facebook for Business

Monday, September 26, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Whether you are just getting started on Facebook or are already up and running, you can’t afford to make mistakes or waste your time on Facebook marketing. Facebook is the largest social network, so if you want to stand-out online, you must have a strong Facebook presence. In this workshop, we’ll show you how to stand out from the crowd, enhance your results, the basics of Facebook marketing, and getting started for your business. This class is for beginners-only and is not a “hands-on” class.

Introduction to Grant Writing for Small Business

Tuesday, September 27, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Learn the fundamentals of grant writing for business. Practice persuasive writing as it relates to grant-seeking and small business development and learn how to run a focus group. This workshop will help you focus on building your small business goals one step at a time so you can turn your ideas into opportunities. You will also have an opportunity to network with other small business professionals.

Rock Your Holiday Marketing: Tips, Tools and Tricks for Creating a Profitable Holiday Season

Tuesday, October 4, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Holiday spending and sales are going to be UP - so take action now to make the most of the months ahead to help you and your customers ROCK the Holidays! This information-packed event will teach you how to:

  • Create a plan with clear measurable goals
  • Select just the right offer for audiences
  • Select/create just the right lists (check it twice? you bet!)
  • Make your offer POP! -- especially on Mobile
  • Take it Social and make it Shareable
  • Create every kind of campaign: deal, donation, downloads, and more

Do It Yourself Market Research  

 This one-session workshop will meet on:

  • Wednesday, October 12, 6 – 8 pm
  • Thursday, October 13, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Cost: Free

Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Learn tips and practical tools to use when researching the market information you need to start and grow your business. We’ll review:

  • What you may learn about your business through research
  • Primary and secondary research methods
  • Data available on industry, market and competition
  • Available resources

SAM Registration and Women-Owned Business Set Aside

Friday October 14, 9:30 am – 12 pm

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Are you a Women Owned Business? Session 2 of this workshop will cover all aspects of what qualifies you as a woman owned business,  if you indeed are one, do you need to be certified and State of CT and Federal Government contracting requirements.

Session 1 (9:30-10:30) will cover the government's new registration system called System for Award Management (SAM).  Session 2 (10:45-12:00) will cover the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program. 

Presented in partnership with:
CT PTAP
US SBA CT District Office

Social Media Time Savers

Monday, October 17, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Managing social media activity can be daunting to time-starved businesses and non-profit owners who cannot afford to spend all day on social media nor ignore it. In this workshop, you will learn tools designed to help manage the daily tasks of participating and managing social media activity for your brand. This advanced social strategy will help you save time on social media marketing and find extra time for you.

Topics covered include:

  • Curating content
  • Social media management tools
  • Creating content at events
  • What apps can help you
  • The art of not over-thinking
  • Next steps

Getting Started with Facebook Ads

Monday, October 24, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Cost: Free

Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

Businesses are increasingly using Facebook advertising to fulfill their commercial or brand marketing objectives. In this seminar, you will learn a practical approach to developing and implementing your first Facebook ad campaign in order to harness the full capability of the world's largest social network.

Instagram for Business Webinar

Tuesday, October 25, 7 – 8:30 pm
Location: Online
Cost: Free

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1631500809674039555

In this webinar, you will learn how to gain a following and promote your art, designs, or small business through the fastest growing social media platform - Instagram.

Topics covered include:

  • Setting up your profile
  • How to manage multiple accounts
  • Writing a great bio
  • The importance of carefully crafted content
  • Analytics
  • Common mistakes & how to avoid them
  • Helpful apps & tools
  • Instagram video
  • Hashtag strategies & why you should have one

Following registration you will receive an email confirmation regarding information on joining the webinar.


Responsive and Responsible Bidding

Friday November 4, 9:30 am – 12 pm

Cost: Free
Location: Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT
Register at: Hartford.edu/ec-register or call 860.768.5681

One way to increase your chance of winning a government contract is to understand the difference between Responsive and Responsible Bidding.  A bid is responsive if the bid meets all of the requirements of the bidding documents or solicitation. A bidder is responsible if they are capable or qualified to perform the work. This presentation will help you understand and be compliant to the concept of Responsible and Responsive.

Presented in partnership with:
CT PTAP
US SBA CT District Office

The Entrepreneurial Center (EC)

E-mail us at empower@hartford.edu for more information or to sign up for a class. As course listings change frequently, please check back often.