Retailers Go To School

Magazine Contributor
4 min read

This story appears in the November 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Opening a fashion-oriented store takes more than good taste and a sense of style. To help new and would-be fashion get over the hurdles, the Market Center has created a "university" offering a series of seminars as well as a traveling educational program.

The start-up seminars, usually held the first Monday of the month at the Dallas Market Center, give participants a two-hour crash course on what it takes to launch a successful retail store. Subjects include market feasibility, , location and financing.

The mobile programs are half-day workshops for retailers already in business and cover topics such as how to stay competitive, , and financial management. The Dallas Market Center plans to take the workshops on the road in 1998 to some 15 U.S. cities. For more information, call (800) 325-6587.


Midrange Financing Offered

In an attempt to fill the funding gap that exists between low-level seed money and high-level venture capital, the U.S. Investor Network Inc. has created a pilot project that links investors and entrepreneurs via the Internet and CD-ROM.

The project targets entrepreneurs who have one to 100 employees and are seeking $25,000 to $2 million. owners can list information about their firms on the Investor Network's home page for six months for $25. The information can be accessed by accredited investors, who will see data on a company's specialty, the past year's revenues and profits, how much capital the entrepreneur is trying to raise, and a 10-line description of the company.

Entrepreneurs also have the option of producing a multimedia presentation on CD-ROM about their company and the potential investment. Investors who contact the Investor Network seeking more information on a business get a copy of the CD-ROM. Entrepreneurs can use a kit the organization provides to produce the CD-ROMs or can pay the network to do it.

For those who don't want to create a CD-ROM presentation, the Investor Network will simply put interested investors in touch with the entrepreneur.

For more information, contact U.S. Investor Network founder Peter Bechtel at (919) 783-0614.


Kit Smooths Road To Owning A Restaurant

Almost everything you ever wanted to know about opening a restaurant in Arizona but were afraid to ask is available in a kit created by the Arizona Restaurant Association.

The Mentor Kit informs would-be food-service vendors about state, federal and local regulations and laws, as well as some of the common pitfalls encountered when opening such a . The association also holds a series of seminars that expand on information found in the kit. For details, call (800) 888-0701.


Center Boots Up Global Database

The Connecticut Small Development Center (SBDC) puts the whole world in your hands with the International Trade Data Network.

The free service provides access to a computer database of reports on countries, industries and markets around the globe, as well as a directory of contacts, publications, domestic trading companies and more.

A "miscellaneous" category features currency exchange rates, statistics and demographics, and even forms a business owner might need to fill out. There is also an "opportunities" section that lists leads for companies and contacts in various countries who are looking for specific American-made products.

The database, updated daily, is accessible through the SBDC's offices as well as the University of Connecticut libraries in Storrs and Hartford. Call (860) 241-4985 to sign up for a free training session.

Contact Sources

Arizona Restaurant Association, 2701 N. 16th St., #221, Phoenix, AZ 85006;

Connecticut Small Development Center, University of Connecticut, 1800 Asylum Rd., West Hartford, CT 06117;

Market Center, 2100 Stemmons Fwy., 5th Fl., Dallas, TX 75207, "a rel="nofollow" href="">

North Carolina Investor Network, P.O. Box 20161, Raleigh, NC 27619-0161,


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