Entry to Entrepreneurship guides students of all ages through the process of writing a business plan, while maintaining a special focus on the local economy. Participants are asked to consider what we are currently importing to this region that we could be producing for ourselves instead and are encouraged to look at these “gaps” in the local economy as business opportunities.

The program is offered by BerkShares, Inc. in partnership with the Schumacher Center for a New Economics and Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network’s Berkshire Regional Office. Classes will begin on Sept. 25 at the Magic Fluke Company in Sheffield, MA and will run for seven weeks, meeting on Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at a rotating location throughout the Southern Berkshires. Light supper included. The class will not meet on Oct. 9 and Oct. 30.

Over the seven-week program, students benefit from the expertise and support of the local business people who volunteer their time in the classroom as instructors, mentors, advisors and business plan reviewers. To gain insight into local production, participants will be introduced to different facilities each week, including Hosta Hill, Magic Fluke Company, SoCo Creamery, and the Great Barrington Bagel Company. The program will culminate in a presentation of business ideas by students to an audience of community members on Nov. 20.

Registrations must be submitted by the first class, Sept. 25, with a deposit of $50 or 50 BerkShares. You can apply by going here.

(press release sent to WSBS from BerkShares Inc. for online and on-air use)