Tonight: Young Entrepreneurs Present! 5 – 7 Pm

Tonight from 5:00 to 7:00, join us at Dewey Hall in Sheffield, where students from this winter’s Entry to Entrepreneurship program will present their business plans to the public.

This year’s students, who range in age from 13 to 23, have benefited from a curriculum co-developed with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center’s Berkshire Regional Office, as well as the instruction and guidance of numerous members of the business community who have participated as guest speakers, mentors, advisors, and business plan reviewers. This multi-generational classroom has allowed for the sharing not just of skills and information, but also of wisdom and life experience.

Bruce Marzotto, commercial lender at Lee Bank, advises two students during a class entitled “Financing a Small Business.” Next to him, advisor Oskar Hallig.

This spirit of community supported entrepreneurship will continue at tonight’s event, which is free and open to the public. After the presentations, audience members will be invited to ask questions of the students and join a conversation about business opportunities in the Berkshires.

The Schumacher Center is proud to present 200 BerkShares in seed money to each student who completes and presents their business plan. This small investment is representative of the larger commitment that Entry to Entrepreneurship has allowed our community to make to the next generation of local business leaders.

If you would like to help make Entry to Entrepreneurship possible again next year, please consider making a donation – either in person tonight or by check. Your tax-deductible donation, in BerkShares or dollars, may be mailed to the Schumacher Center at 140 Jug End Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230, with “Entry to Entrepreneurship” in the memo line.

~ 200 BerkShares will cover the seed money for one student ~
~ 500 BerkShares will cover the costs of the whole program for one student ~

Thanks to the generous support of local sponsors this year, students were able to participate in this class by paying a 25 BerkShare or $25 registration fee. We are committed to continuing to make this opportunity affordable to all local young people who wish to participate. Please help us meet that goal!

This program is community-supported, community-taught, and focuses on inspiring ‘import-replacement’ businesses that will fill gaps in the local economy. This approach is a part of a larger initiative spearheaded by the Schumacher Center for a New Economics and BerkShares, Inc. called Community Supported Industry. Community Supported Industry builds on the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model to find ways that Berkshire citizens can identify local business opportunities and work together to turn them into enterprises that become part of the local economy.

We hope to see you at Dewey Hall tonight.



More about Entry to Entrepreneurship: This is the second consecutive year that the Schumacher Center for a New Economics and BerkShares, Inc. have offered Entry to Entrepreneurship, a ten-week business education experience designed for young people. Since late January, the class has been meeting every Tuesday from 3:00 to 5:00 in donated classroom space at Berkshire Community College’s South County Center in Great Barrington.

Entry to Entrepreneurship has been made possible by support from Covestro, 1Berkshire, the Elitzer Family Fund, Nancy Fitzpatrick and Lincoln Russell, Benno Friedman, the Great Barrington Rotary Club, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Hellman, Shearn & Arienti, LLP, Hunt Alternatives & Fern Portnoy, Charles and Angeliki Keil, Lee Bank, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, Salisbury Bank and Trust Company, Smitty Pignatelli, The Triplex Cinema, and the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network’s Berkshire Regional Office has been an indispensible partner in the development of the program.

In addition, community members Vito Vitrano, Howard Lefenfeld, Rachel Moriarty, Kristina Vaselewski, Charles Ferris, Mark DeCelle, Oskar Hallig, Richard Stanley, Phyllis Webb, John Graziano, Michal Snyder, David Bruce, Billie Best, Keith Girouard, Nancy Shulman, Erik Bruun, Elizabeth Hamilton, Bonnie Silvers, Maia Conty, Betsy Andrus, Brian Hailes, Sierra Watson, Jody Law, Julie Hannum, and Maddie Elling are lending their time throughout the course as advisors, mentors, or presenters.