Colorado State University and the University of Southern Colorado have unveiled a new project to support rural Colorado through a series of basic introductory online courses in small business development. (USC will become Colorado State University-Pueblo in July 2003.)
Small businesses form the largest segment of the world economy. To help Colorado citizens start their own small businesses, the Colorado State University System has developed three courses. Each course targets a different aspect of planning, creating and maintaining a small business. The courses are designed to assist Colorado entrepreneurs, especially those in rural areas, obtain inexpensive help in planning their own small businesses.
The three courses offered are "Starting Your Small Business," "Financing Your Small Business" and "Web sites and e-commerce for Small Business." The courses target critical aspects of developing new businesses from the ground up, and the coursework includes the real-life projects of developing financial strategies and writing a business plan for the actual business being created.
"If we were pricing these courses anywhere near their market value, they would cost three times as much," said Al Powell, director of Independent Learning at Colorado State. "However, since our goal is to support rural Colorado, we are making them so affordable that anyone interested can take them."
The courses typically are completed quickly, but students are given access to the course materials for six months after registration to use as references. These are non-credit courses that do not produce an academic grade, and they will not appear on an academic transcript from either institution. The courses are public-service tools to help entrepreneurs make good decisions and gain helpful information before they commit to developing a small business.
"These courses are a great tool to help people develop their own business right from their own home," said Don English, director of Continuing Education at USC. "Anyone seeking an inexpensive way to learn how to start their own business would benefit greatly from taking these non-credit courses for small business introduction and development."
For more information about the online courses in small business development or other online courses offered through Colorado State, visit www.learn.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-5288.