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ONU's Community Economic Development Center scheduling consultations, workshops

Oct 1, 2012

The Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) at Ohio Northern University is scheduling one-on-one consultations and has planned workshops and classes to support individual and small business owners in Hardin, Hancock, Allen and Wyandot counties.

The recently opened CEDC’s mission is to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset and to create opportunities for furthering employment opportunities in the four-county area. The CEDC, located in ONU’s James F. Dicke College of Business Administration, was made possible through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to support small business growth and development in the counties surrounding ONU.

Kevin Ernst, director of the CEDC, said the goal is to support micro-enterprise development (small businesses with less than 50 employees and gross sales less than $1 million). In order to accomplish this, the CEDC has developed outreach programs focused on serving the needs of any individual that may have an interest in starting or expanding a small business. This includes those who may only have an idea, a dream or a hobby.

To accomplish these tasks, the CEDC has established programs such as free individualized one-on-one consultations for those who want to investigate self-employment as a career option, start a micro-enterprise or expand a micro-enterprise. The CEDC also offers free classes to assist in exploring entrepreneurship, self-employment and business startup.

 Classes, which begin in late October, are noncredit and cover such topics as financial literacy, computer literacy, human resources, business plan preparation and marketing. In addition to classes, monthly workshops are scheduled that will utilize industry experts in a variety of fields to address various aspects of owning and running a small business.

For more information about classes and workshops, or to sign up for any program, contact the CEDC at or 419-772-2753.