Help for entrepreneurs
The University of Nebraska, Lincoln's FoodStrategy program offers a one-day seminar, "From Product to Profit," designed to help prospective entrepreneurs as well as restaurant or store owners manufacture food products.
The seminars are open to anyone and will be held May 1, July 14, September 4 and October 17. Subjects covered include product development, market selection, regulatory issues, legal requirements, pricing, packaging and promotion.
The cost for Nebraska residents to attend is $150 for the first person and $75 for each additional person from a company; non-Nebraskans pay $250 and $100, respectively. Those interested must preregister at least two weeks in advance by calling food specialist Arlis Burney at (402) 472-5791.
"From Product to Profit" is the first part of the university's food manufacturing program. In the second part, "Start-Up Services and Consultation," participants receive confidential, individualized help developing and marketing their products. Fees vary.
Big Companies Share Money, Expertise With Small Firms
American Express, Ameritech and Apple Computer are helping small-business owners boost their bottom lines.
- American Express has two new revolving credit lines with entrepreneurs in mind. The Gold Corporate Optima Card allows individuals to carry a balance, features a line of credit up to $20,000 and has no annual fee. The Corporate Platinum Card is an unsecured line of credit from $5,000 to $50,000 that requires only a minimum payment to keep it current; customers can use checks or a credit card to make purchases. Both cards are available only to current American Express cardholders.
In addition to setting up a joint venture with AT&T Capital Corp. to provide equipment leasing to small-business owners (see March "Bulletin Board"), American Express has also opened small-business centers in Phoenix and Los Angeles where credit card services, tax and business consulting, and financial planning are provided; some services are free.
- Ameritech has set up two Home Office Telecom centers staffed by specialists trained to help homebased entrepreneurs determine the best communication systems for their companies. The free service is available in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio; to register for service, visit (http://www.HomeOfficesTelecom.com), or call (800) Work-Life.
- Apple and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have joined forces to open 48 planned Apple Business Productivity Centers nationwide. The centers help individuals start or grow a business. Free services available include the use of customized software templates to write business plans, design business cards and brochures, and apply for SBA loans. Users can also access the Internet and use computers, printers, scanners, digital cameras, networking equipment and teleconferencing capabilities.
At press time, 23 Apple Business Productivity Centers had opened; for the center nearest you, visit (http://www.Smallbusiness.Apple.com), or call your local SBA office.