GROW YOUR OWN BUSINESS
THE MICRO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Why Go it Alone, When There is Free Help?
In 1988, five Community Action Agencies in Vermont started a pilot program to use micro business as a means for someone to become economically self- sufficient. The Micro Business Development Program (MBDP) was established to offer low to moderate income participants the training, technical assistance, and support networks necessary to start or grow a successful business. The Northeast Kingdom Community Action Agency’s (NEKCA) Micro Business Development Program serves Orleans, Essex and Caledonia counties. Today, MBDP is one of Vermont’s leading micro-enterprise development organizations for low-income people.
What is a Micro Business?
A micro business is considered to be the smallest of small businesses: those that employ fewer than five people and generate less than $250,000.00 in annual revenue.
A micro business is usually a partnership, sole proprietorship, or family business. The owners are often engaged in a small scale, service, retail, manufacturing or agricultural business.
Our Goal Is To Help You! We Strive…
- To foster self–employment as a route to economic self–sufficiency for residents in the Northeast Kingdom, who are facing economic, social, or medical challenges.
- To provide assistance and education for business startups and expansions.
- To offer business resources and on-going support to assist participants in achieving long term success.
Technical Assistance Is Critical to Business Success
The Micro Business program staff work one to one with individuals and offer guidance in evaluating their business concept and their readiness to undertake self-employment. Throughout the process the program participant and the MDBP staff work together to navigate the many steps and barriers of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Our FREE services include:
- Business idea assessment, business plan and marketing plan development
- Financial capacity and management
- Assistance with business loan applications
- Assistance with marketing materials
- Classes / Workshops / Seminars
- Organizational structure development
Who Is Eligible?
There are income eligibility guidelines; please contact the MICRO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM to see if you qualify.
Deputy Director, NEKCA Micro Business Development Program
THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM COMMUNITY OF ENTREPRENURS WEBSITE
This website was created as a tool so that businesses in the Northeast Kingdom could showcase their business and expand their markets by creating a business profile page. It is also a great way to stay updated on new projects, trainings, and resources.
SPECIAL INITIATIVES – ASPIRE! – Empowering Female Entrepreneurs
In addition to the free services NEKCA’s Micro Business Development Program provides for both men and women, MBDP has ongoing opportunities for female entrepreneurs. Our goal is to engage and empower women entrepreneurs in the Northeast Kingdom and provide a platform for women to network, learn, and achieve financial stability through self – employment.
WHAT DOES THIS INCLUDE?
- Classes / Workshops
- Networking Events
- Special Funding Opportunities
- Circle of Support
Throughout the year, MBDP in conjunction with local community partners offer various trainings on business development topics. This ranges from financial management, marketing, business plan development, to social media / online marketing and everything in between. Often we bring in a guest speaker who is an expert in his or her field. We are always looking for suggestions for topics; please send us an email with your ideas or needs.
Networking is vital to your business on several levels. As a rural community, it is an opportunity to meet and form friendships with other entrepreneurs. It is a way to get peer support and reenergize yourself when you are feeling all alone in the challenges you face as a business owner. It is also a wonderful way to share your experiences and encouragement with others who may need some additional support.
SPECIAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
As opportunities arise, we send out information to our email list so that you can have an opportunity to participate. Every year may not be the same, so it is important to stay in the loop. Please make sure we have your current contact information.
WANT TO BE A COMMUNITY PARTNER IN A PROJECT?
It is with the generosity from our community that makes our local businesses succeed. If your organization or business would like to support female entrepreneurs in our community, please contact us to discuss your idea or if you would like to make a monetary donation, please click here.
Director, NEKCA Micro Business Development Program