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Management curriculum aids small business owners, educators
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Launching a business can be challenging and overwhelming, but a recently updated Cooperative Extension Service publication can help provide entrepreneurs with keys to success.
Cashing in on Business Opportunities is a comprehensive educational curriculum designed to help aspiring and existing home-based business and microbusiness owners address challenges.
“Today’s economic times make this type of curriculum more relevant than ever,” said Alan Barefield, Mississippi State University Extension agricultural economics professor. “Current unemployment statistics make it clear that large employers are not rebounding quickly enough to return the national economy to the robustness found before its current state. Most new, fast-growing companies have had their start as a home-based business or microbusiness.”
Barefield said tough economies often lead to an increase in interest in starting small businesses, even in people who have never considered owning a business before.
With unemployment rates in July at about 11 percent in Mississippi and 9.5 percent in both the southern region and nation, the conditions may be ripe for future entrepreneurs. The small-business curriculum, known simply as Cashing, is an important educational tool.
“On-going research continues to identify this economic segment as the birthplace for most new job growth,” said Barefield, who coordinated the revision of the curriculum, which is being released by the Southern Rural Development Center hosted at MSU.
Originally developed by a national team of Extension professionals, Cashing has been offering technical knowledge and skills essential to manage a home-based or microbusiness since 1998.
Cashing’s updated lessons have a new user-friendly design, and many of the financial, management and marketing methods have been significantly updated for this release.
The curriculum includes suggestions for Internet-based marketing methods, simplified explanations of complex financial and management procedures, and an in-depth tutorial on developing a comprehensive and usable business plan.
Additional topics and Webinars addressing e-commerce and technology will soon be added to the 1,500-plus-page curriculum.
Cashing reviser Jim McConnon, Extension Business and Economics Specialist and Professor of Economics at the University of Maine, said the Cashing in on Business curriculum is user friendly and will help Extension educators across the country support and strengthen home-based businesses and microbusinesses and promote economic development in their communities.
The document can be downloaded at http://srdc.msstate.edu/trainings/educurricula/cashing/.
Writer: Alicia Barnes