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Release: Immediate

Iowa City residents offered free business course Sept. 16

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa City residents who meet certain requirements are being offered free help in exploring plans to start their own businesses, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the City of Iowa City to the Small Business Development Center and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa.

Eligible residents will take a nine-week introductory course this fall entitled, "Self-Sufficiency through Self-Employment," on the basics of developing plans to start a small business.

The course is a pilot project funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The grant covers the cost of tuition and materials for participants.

People interested in the course are invited to attend an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16 in Room S307 of the Pappajohn Business Administration Building. Information on business start-up courses also will be available for those who do not qualify for the subsidized program.

Classes will be Tuesdays, beginning Oct. 7. The nine-week program will be repeated in the spring.

The curriculum is based on the "Premier Fast Trac" program, a business development course designed to assist entrepreneurs in developing and writing feasibility, operation, marketing and business plans. Weekly sessions include lectures, workshops and guest speakers.

To be eligible for the free class, participants must live within the city limits of Iowa City and meet other requirements based on their income.

For more information, or if you are unable to attend the Sept. 16 meeting but would like to participate, contact the Small Business Development Center at (319) 335-3742.