From the April 1997 issue of Entrepreneur

Help for entrepreneurs

National

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.

Atlanta

Foundation Targets Young Entrepreneurs

Kids way inc., a foundation created in 1994, helps young entrepreneurs learn how to start a business.

The foundation's retail store in Atlanta's Kids Village is staffed entirely by youth aged 16 to 18. The store includes an old-fashioned soda fountain, a "clubhouse" selling books and video products, and a section offering environmentally friendly merchandise; many of the products sold benefit nonprofit organizations.

Young people aged 8 to 18 can join a national group called Kids Way Presidents Club, a sales organization where kids learn through selling catalog products door-to-door how product delivery systems work. Kids Way also publishes a bimonthly newsletter, Young Entrepreneur, with business tips and examples of successful young entrepreneurs; it's available free to kids and educators. And this summer, Kids Way plans to host 12 entrepreneurship camps in Atlanta, Houston and other major cities nationwide.

For more information on any of the programs, call (888) KIDS-WAY, or visit (http://www.acornsw.com/kidsway.com/)

Contact Sources

American Express, (800) SUCCESS;

FoodStrategy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 60 Filley Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0928;

Kids Way Inc., 5585 Peachtree Rd., Chamblee, GA 30341.