BerkShares, Inc. invites the community to experience and participate in “community supported entrepreneurship” at a free event on Wednesday, April 11th where students from the Entry to Entrepreneurship business planning program will present their business plans to the public. The event will take place at Dewey Hall, 91 Main Street, Sheffield, MA from 5:30-7:30pm. Following the presentations, audience members will be invited to ask questions of the students and join a conversation about business opportunities in the Berkshires.
This is the fourth consecutive year that BerkShares, Inc. has offered Entry to Entrepreneurship. Developed with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network’s Berkshire Regional Office, the 10-week program is taught by members of the local business community and others volunteer their time as mentors, advisors, and business plan reviewers. The class meets at Berkshire Community College’s South County Center in Great Barrington. This year’s students range in age from 17 to 33.
Entry to Entrepreneurship is part of an initiative through BerkShares, Inc. called 'Community Supported Industry, which builds on the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model to find ways that Berkshire citizens can identify local business opportunities and work together to turn them into enterprises that become part of the local economy.
Students are taught by a different guest speaker each week and members of the community serve as mentors, attending class each week to act as sounding boards and advocates as students prepare a written business plan. In this way students are introduced to multiple voices and perspectives from throughout the local economy while also learning the fundamentals of business.
Entry to Entrepreneurship has been made possible by support from Berkshire Bank Foundation, Greylock Federal Credit Union, 1Berkshire, the Great Barrington Rotary Club, Lee Bank, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, the Sheffield Kiwanis Club, Salisbury Bank and Trust Company, One Mercantile, Hellman, Shearn & Arienti, LLP, the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire, the Sherman Investment Group of RBC Wealth Management, the Turkeybush Foundation, the Elitzer Family Fund, the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, and many generous individuals.