Campus: CSU Fresno -- October 08, 2001

Fresno State Offers Online Training For Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs from rural parts of Fresno and Clovis can now turn to California State University, Fresno for expertise on starting their own businesses.

The University Business Center has established AcceleratorOnline, a Web-based entrepreneurial training program that incorporates coursework developed by faculty from the Craig School of Business.

AcceleratorOnline guides participants with hands-on training and custom-designed virtual courses. Three different modules are offered: business plan development, e-business and global business guide.
Twenty students completed the business plan module in September. Applications deadline for the second module, e-business, is Oct.15.

Emil Milevoj, business development specialist, said applicants are selected based on the viability of their business ideas. Those chosen take custom-designed virtual courses that are available on CD-ROM or through Fresno State's e-learning software platform, Blackboard.

Participants meet with professors twice a month to ask questions and receive a progress assessment.
In addition, faculty from the Craig School of Business and community business leaders provide advice and expertise to the participants on such topics as business loans, obtaining business space and hiring.

"Every business has different needs so it [the assistance offered] really depends on the business. We try to get the information they need to them. If we don't have the answer we try to find someone who does," said Milevoj.

Participants have access to business contacts within the community, guidance in obtaining a small business loan and insurance calculators, plus assistance in setting up their own business Web site on AcceleratorOnline's site.

AcceleratorOnline is funded by state and federal grants. Milevoj said he is also looking for local business partners who can offer contributions of time, materials and expertise.

For more information, visit the Web site at www.acceleratoronline.com.


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