Mountain BizWorks and Birds Eye partner to bring back the popular course and new offerings for area small businesses
Mountain BizWorks announces the return of the Foundations business planning class through a partnership with Birds Eye Business Planning and Adventures.
Foundations is a six-week business plan course that helps aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners guide ideas from concept to reality in a participatory, supportive learning environment. Since its creation 20 years ago, the class has helped over a thousand Asheville and western North Carolina individuals gain the tools and confidence to start or expand their business.
In 2013, as the recession continued to impact funding available for non-profits, Mountain BizWorks had to make some tough decisions that included suspending the Foundations program. Recognizing the course’s importance to area business and its accumulated value from two decades of experience, long-time Foundations instructor Annie Price stepped up to preserve the course by refreshing it and offering it through a new consulting practice, Birds Eye Business Planning. The updated Birds Eye course has been delivered at Mountain BizWorks by Annie and her team for the last two years.
“When you think about its impact on our region, Foundations is truly a unique regional asset,” states Bill Carrington board chair, Mountain BizWorks. “We commend Birds Eye on a tremendous job making the course even stronger and we’re thrilled to now partner to deliver an improved Foundations experience to future generations of WNC entrepreneurs.”
Annie Price adds, “It has been a great honor to serve as steward of this tried-and-true business planning course that has helped lay the foundation of so many of the businesses that make our area unique. Birds Eye is very excited to continue working with Mountain BizWorks through providing ongoing facilitator training and support, coupled with the piloting of new course content. Our goal is to sustain our commitment to creating relevancy and retention for our participants, in a respectful peer-to-peer learning environment.”
Through the new partnership, Mountain BizWorks will be able to expand the number of small businesses served by Foundations. Following Mountain BizWorks’ focus on peer-led instruction, the Foundations course will continue to be taught by experienced facilitators and business owners including Annie Price, Russ Towers and Jodi Rhoden. A new course for existing business owners is also planned to launch in 2017 to complement Foundations and the ScaleUp WNC program for high-growth potential businesses.
“As we experience unprecedented levels of requests for our lending and learning resources, this partnership grows our ability to equip entrepreneurs with the decision tools needed to achieve success and advance economic opportunity within the region,” says Bill Carrington.
Individuals interested in learning more about Foundations and registering for upcoming courses should go to mountainbizworks.org/foundations.