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Developing entrepreneurial talent through action learning and fostering the creation of sustainable enterprises throughout North Carolina
August 2013
In This Issue
Save the Date for the Next REAL Institute
REAL Facilitators in Eastern North Carolina Invited to In-Service Workshop
REAL Meets with Career/Technical Educators in Greensboro
Two Sparrows Farm Helped by REAL Entrepreneurship
REAL Facilitator and Small Business Center in Alamance County Highlighted in Magazine
Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur? 48% of Americans, That's Who
Two Entrepreneurship Camps Attract Youth in North Carolina
REAL Graduate Opens Guns and Ammo Store in Carteret County
REAL Engages Tennessee Youth
Free Webinars on Impact of Affordable Care Act on Small Businesses in August
Link of the Month

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REAL Entrepreneurship Staff


Tom Brown

Executive Director


Malinda Todd

Associate Director


Shannon Gallagher

Eastern Regional Associate


Daisy Reeder

Finance and Operations Manager


Tonya Wilson Snider

Western Regional Associate

Save the Date for the Next REAL Institute

Make a note that the next REAL Institute will be held the week of February 24-28, 2014 at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach.  The Institute is our signature training event of the year leading to full certification as a REAL facilitator. 

Once certified, you are ready to provide basic business skills through REAL Entrepreneurship to youth and adults interested in small business ownership.  It's not too early to register and learn more about this important event on the REAL calendar by clicking here.

REAL Facilitators in Eastern North Carolina Invited to In-Service Workshop
REAL facilitators in Eastern North Carolina are invited to a one-day refresher training at no cost on August 28.  The purpose of the meeting is to brush up on presentation skills and learn about new developments at REAL Entrepreneurship.  This special workshop is open only to certified REAL facilitators.  Although primarily intended for facilitators in the East, all certified REAL facilitators are invited to attend.

The event also will give a sneak preview of the new REAL Online resource. The workshop will be held in the BB&T Conference Room of the Workforce Development Building at Robeson Community College in Lumberton.  For more details and to register, click here.

We plan to offer a similar in-service training for facilitators in Western North Carolina later in the year.
REAL Meets with Career/Technical Educators in Greensboro

Malinda Todd and Shannon Gallagher of REAL Entrepreneurship spoke to a large, engaged group of Career/Technical Education (CTE) teachers in Greensboro in July. The teachers learned about the following topics:
  • Business Ideas for "Hop on the BUS!"
  • School-Based Businesses
  • Healthcare and Entrepreneurship: How Entrepreneurial Skills Can Benefit Students in Healthcare Courses
  • REAL Tools for Setting Up School-Based Businesses
The group especially was interested in REAL trainings regarding "Building Entrepreneurship Skills" (BES) and "REAL Innovative Student Enterprises" (RISE).  Workshops will be presented on both of these topics in the fall and you can learn more and register by clicking here.  

CTE teachers throughout the state are actively looking for new ways to include entrepreneurship and student-run enterprises in their classes and schools. REAL appreciates the interest and will continue to work closely with this important group of educators and youth interested in exploring entrepreneurship as a career option.
Two Sparrows Farm Helped by REAL Entrepreneurship
Two Sparrows Farm is a 15-acre farm in Red Springs owned by Mac and Debbie McCarthy.  Ms.
Two Sparrows
Debbie McCarthy's mother helps by painting the goat shed
McCarthy is a 2012 graduate of the REAL Agriculture Entrepreneurship course at Robeson Community College.

Prior to attending REAL their produce sales were disappointing.  Following up on contacts made through the REAL workshops, they now are providing more fresh veggies to the community and to the Montpelier Church congregation in particular.  They are thinking about starting a farmers market in Wagram that would open doors for the farm's products.  

Two Sparrows' products include: honey, produce, shitake mushrooms, grapes and grapevines.  They have added chickens and plan to offer eggs and processed meat.  They also have planted a hundred Christmas trees and hope to have a "pick your own"
patch in the future.

Mrs. McCarthy said she took the course because "I wanted to have as much information and knowledge to make sure I knew the tax obligations and other regulations about the business.  From the REAL class I just kept building on what I learned and have followed up with mushroom and beekeeping classes." 

Originally, the McCarthy's wanted to start the business as something to do in retirement, but an additional motivation to build it up is to have something to pass along to their grandchildren if they are interested in taking up farming as a business when they get older.
 REAL Facilitator and Small Business Center in Alamance County Highlighted in Magazine
Alamance Woman
Milele Archibald is pictured on the cover of the July issue of Alamance Woman magazine that features the work of the Small Business Center (SBC) at Alamance Community College.  The article is an excellent description of services a SBC can provide to someone who is considering starting a business.

The SBC is located in Burlington Outlet Village's, Dillingham Center that is associated with Alamance Community College.  It offers confidential counseling, training, resources, computer access and sample business plans, among other services.  According to Milele, "We are successful when our clients leave our offices and classrooms with a better understanding of what is needed to be successful in business.  Our steadfast mission is to create businesses that will grow and create jobs for Alamance County residents."

In the past fiscal year 485 people attended seminars and classes at the Alamance County SBC.  The SBC network started in 1984 when the NC General Assembly funded 13 centers.  By 1995, there was at least one SBC at each of the 58 community colleges in North Carolina.  Today, it is the most expansive state-funded technical assistance program in the United States with a location within a 30-minute drive of virtually every North Carolinian.

Read more about the SBC Center at Alamance Community College by clicking here.
Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur? 48% of Americans, That's Who
bakery owner
David Mielach, staff writer at Business News Daily, recently wrote that almost half of all Americans are harboring entrepreneurial dreams.  That statement is in spite of the fact that the same research found that most small business owners say running their business has become more challenging in the past half decade.  Even so, 71 percent of small business owners say they would choose to open their business all over again.

The article also lists 20 questions to ask yourself if you are considering starting a business as well as 22 reasons to start a business in 2013.  The stats in the article and related questions make for good reading for anyone thinking of starting a small business, or
even those who have taken the leap of faith.  To read the article click here
Two Entrepreneurship Camps Attract Youth in North Carolina
Roanoke Chowan Camp
Participants generate business ideas from random items at Roanoke-Chowan Entrepreneurship Camp
Youth Entrepreneurship camps were conducted throughout North Carolina in July.  Two camps held on either end of the state were particularly effective in presenting new possibilities for youth to consider.

Jim Bales, Latoya Stephenson and  Tremaine Kwasikpui facilitated a camp at Roanoke-Chowan Community College.  The Hertford County Schools donated several scholarships for students to attend and Mitch Kelly from the school system assisted throughout the week. 

Students worked to develop business plans that were presented on the final night.  Their business ideas included a marketing firm, sports complex and fun park complete with bowling, laser tag and arcade games.  One participant, Sandi Goolsby, summed up her experience, "I liked the hands-on stuff.  It teaches me a lot more."
On the other end of the state, the Swain County Cooperative Extension and Sequoyah Fund co-sponsored another entrepreneurship camp for students 10-14 years old from Swain, Jackson and Haywood counties.  They broke into three groups to develop business ideas in service, agriculture or technology categories.  Out of it came ideas for businesses in online sporting goods, online computer gaming, hair salon and a cattle ranch.

Local business owners spoke to the young people who participated in a number of REAL activities. Cherokee Youth Camp Campers pictured here are working through the "Structures" exercise that builds planning and teamwork skills.  Participants are given materials to work with, spaghetti and gumdrops in this example, and must develop a plan for making something of it and then execute, without additional conversation among the group.

Youth entrepreneurship camps are being held throughout the nation this summer.  A recent CNN article highlights the trend and reminds that the unemployment rate for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 is a disturbing 17.1 percent.  The article looks in depth at two camps in Florida and California, both of which carry significant cost for participants.
REAL Graduate Opens Guns and Ammo Store in Carteret County 
Pete Bocker took the REAL Course at Carteret Community College facilitated by Pete Ellis.  It led
PKAT Guns and Ammo Opens in Carteret County
to an expansion of his home-based business to a storefront operation in March 2013.  The business, PKAT Guns and Ammo, is located in Newport, halfway between New Bern and Morehead City in the former location of a different gun store that was not doing well.

With lessons learned from REAL, along with hands on support of his family, Pete believes his story will be different.  When asked about whether he would recommend the REAL course he said, "Absolutely!  It really opens your eyes to what you need to know and Pete Ellis is an excellent instructor.  He's very animated and has been in the community a long time, so he has the connections.  It's important to have financial knowledge and understand personal credit.  These are some of the things you learn in REAL."

Pete is a retired major in the Marine Corps and  former law enforcement officer with nine years experience.  Other family members also have extensive military experience, so they know the products they sell which is a key to success in any business venture.
REAL Engages Tennessee Youth
Erika Adams, director of College Access Programs at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, TN, recently led their first youth entrepreneurship camp and recorded the experience on YouTube.   You can hear the excitement in the quotes from young people who attended that the event got them thinking about how to apply their entrepreneurial skills to their lives.

The words they used most often to describe the camp were "hands on learning." Erika's message to them was that goals are attainable, if you have the tools to make good things happen. 

The camp was supported by grants from the
YES logo
YES Camp in Tennessee Develops Brand
Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Alliance for Business and Training, therefore attendance was free to the youth who attended. Additionally, each participant was supplied with a backpack full of supplies as well as meals and snacks during the packed schedule.  Erika believes that word of the positive camp experience this summer will spread.  She hopes it will become an annual event with growing numbers of participants in future years.

Northeast State has sent a number of staff to REAL trainings and incorporated action learning into many of its programs and courses.  Erika puts it this way, "As an economic development strategy it is the best way to grow the local economic base and retrain the talented students who, in past decades, have moved away to larger urban areas for better jobs and better pay." 
If you would like to know more about the camp you may email Erika by clicking here
 Free Webinars on Impact of Affordable Care Act on Small Businesses in August
The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are offering webinars in August to learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and what it means for their company and employees.  The webinars will address insurance reforms, the small business healthcare tax credit, new health insurance marketplaces and employer-shared responsibilities.

Leaders of the webinars will walk through key pieces of the law so that small business owners can better understand the facts and make informed decisions about health insurance for their employees.  Other topics to be discussed include shared responsibility, cost containment and resources available to learn more about the law.  A question and answer period will be included in the webinars.

Thursday, August 8 at 2 p.m. ET:
Thursday, August 15 at 2 p.m. ET:
Link of the Month

Small Business Majority The Small Business Majority is an advocacy group founded and run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses today.  An example of their work is the webinar series regarding the Affordable Care Act (see article above).  They also provide excellent information about clean energy and other topics of interest to small business owners.

The organization also conducts research to illuminate key questions and opinions.  The policy papers and materials they develop are widely used by healthcare reform advocacy and small business groups.  The information helps to illustrate the impact of small business enterprises in the overall economic landscape of the United States. 

Check out the site by clicking here.