SOMERSET, Ky. – Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) is launching a nationally recognized entrepreneurial and small business training program that will benefit hundreds of residents across its service area in the coming months. Pat Bradley, SKED small business training specialist, and Tamara Clontz, an independent consultant and member of B2B CFO Partners LLC, completed instructors training held in Atlanta, Ga. in late November. With this training, they join the ranks of more than 200 trainers from over 80 organizations across the country that have been trained in presenting the Core Four® Business Planning Course. “Entrepreneurial SMARTS: Simple Methods And Reality-based Training for Success” sessions are being scheduled in 10 communities from Pikeville to Greensburg and from Morehead to Middlesboro over the next 14 to16 months. Bradley and Clontz will share the skills and information they acquired as a result of their recent training with participants in the training. In addition, they’ll convey the first-hand knowledge they gained from years of extensive experience in small business management in the classroom. At these training sessions, entrepreneurs and small business owners will be instructed in basic knowledge about starting, financing and operating a business and planning for success. Class participants will also be given the tools needed to determine if business ownership is for them. If these entrepreneurs go on to start their own business, this training will give them a tremendous advantage by giving them access to the skill sets needed to properly get their business off the ground and running smoothly. Existing small business owners will get the support they need to advance the growth of their business and operate a solid, reliable investment. Upon successful completion of this training, participants will receive a certificate recognizing their achievements and will be eligible to apply for business startup or expansion funding from SKED’s loan funds. This nationally recognized course is valued at $250 per student. However, due to financial support through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) combined with financial support from SKED, participants will pay a mere $25 charge per person. More information on the scheduled class sites, dates and registration can be found on SKED’s website at www.southeastkentucky.com after Jan.1, 2012. SKED has been providing support for new business development and small business expansion throughout Southeast Kentucky for some 15 years. This new entrepreneurial and small business training program, will supplement SKED’s work to develop successful and sustainable small business ownership in Southeast Kentucky. “If only I had had access to this kind of training before I started my first business venture.” said Bradley. “This is an incredible opportunity for anyone who has ever considered starting a business of any kind, or for new or existing small business owners who want to improve their operations and profitability – and what business owner doesn’t want that?” SKED Executive Director Greg Jones says this new entrepreneurial training program is a natural progression for SKED and its mission of job creation and building a better economic future for the residents of Southeast Kentucky. “Giving entrepreneurs and small business owners the tools they need to build and grow their dreams on a solid foundation will benefit not only them, but their future employees, customers and the communities in which they’re located,” Jones said. “We believe this training will prepare small business owners to create and sustain a better way of life for themselves and the region as a whole.” SKED was formed 25 years ago by Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers to create jobs in Southeast Kentucky. The economic development organization, based in Somerset, serves a 42-county region in Southeast Kentucky. Staff works with business owners, small and large, throughout its service area to identify financing solutions to fund their location, expansion and working capital needs. For more information about SKED’s services, contact Jones at (606) 677-6102 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about entrepreneurship training, contact Bradley by phone at (606) 335-1488 or by email at email@example.com. You may visit: www.southeastkentucky.com for more information about SKED’s services and about Entrepreneurial SMARTS.