Giving Bottom Lines a Boost: NOVA Launches Business-Oriented Initiatives
January 30, 2008
When Becky O’Neil’s business picks up, she may have Northern Virginia Community College President Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr. to thank. O’Neil attended an introductory meeting last week for the Entrepreneur Career Studies Certificate (ECSC) program—one of two curricula NOVA launched in January to enrich the bottom lines of local businesses. The other track, the Women and Minority-owned business mentoring program (SWaM), offers guidance to small businesses or those of any size owned by women or minorities.
O’Neil, founder and president of Becky’s Pet Care, Inc., is interested in the ECSC because she’d like to grow her business.
“I feel like I’ve gone as far as I can go,” O’Neil explained. “I don’t have a background in business and NOVA’s program is a chance for me to get the basic knowledge and building blocks I need so I can grow my company.”
The ECSC is offered by NOVA and the Community Business Partnership (a program of the Mason Enterprise Center at GMU’s School of Public Policy) and is designed to provide small businesses with the tools necessary to be successful.
Business owners accepted into the Small, Women and Minority-owned business mentoring program (SWaM) will gain insight into how to improve their chances of successfully bidding for state and/or local government contracts or subcontracts. Offered by NOVA’s Business Opportunity Center, the 24-week curriculum includes a review of the participants’ business plans and organizational structure, technical assistance and training in the preparation of bids or proposals, networking opportunities with government buyers and large vendors and guidance vis-à-vis appropriate College workforce development programs for employee recruitment and training.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.