Training and Support
“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it,
and exploits it as an opportunity.” Peter Drucker
We live in rapidly changing times that present opportunities as well as challenges. At the Center for Economic Development, we regard entrepreneurs as individuals who have the mind-set to see the possibilities rather than the problems created by change.
Training and Technical Assistance
CED works in a variety of ways with partners in the public and nonprofit sectors to support their efforts to help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed. An economy with many small employers is more likely to be healthy and sustainable than an economy dependent on a few large employers. Small employers tend to be more committed to the community, hiring and spending locally.
To further the success of entrepreneurs and small business owners, CED staff members:
- Work closely with the twelve Alaska Regional Development Organizations, providing support as requested to the communities they serve. Recently, CED staff members developed and presented business planning workshops in King Salmon, King Cove, Dillingham, and Kodiak for the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference.
- Collaborate with the Alaska Federation of Natives to provide assistance to the Alaska Marketplace competition by assessing applications and offering training and technical support to applicants, finalists, and winners.
- Look for ways to engage with the university’s rural campuses to support their entrepreneurship education efforts. We continue to partner with UAF’s Bristol Bay Campus staff to support Alaska Marketplace applicants and finalists in their region by providing personalized training and technical assistance.
- Provide training and technical assistance to nonprofits and others starting or running a social purpose business, and offer Sustayne™, a business accelerator workshop series developed by the Washington-based Social Enterprise Group and Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
- Conduct business feasibility studies and assists with business planning as a fee-based service to nonprofit clients such as economic development organizations, Native corporations, tribal and village councils, chambers of commerce, and community-based organizations.
Business Planning Handbooks
With the assistance of a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, in 2009 CED published a series of eight business planning handbooks developed with rural small businesses in mind. The titles in the Steps to Success for Rural Entrepreneurs series, offered as PDFs for downloading, are:
- Writing Your Small Business Plan
- Starting a Bed and Breakfast
- Starting an Ecotourism Business in Alaska
- Starting a Fish Processing Plant
- Starting a Rural Alaska Lodge
- Starting a Small Engine Repair Shop
- Starting a Small Rental Business
- Starting a Small Restaurant
CED partnered with the Institute of Social and Economic Research to produce the 2008 report, Viable Business Enterprises for Rural Alaska (ViBEs), that examined what types of businesses are viable in rural Alaska and under what conditions, with the objective of increasing the success of private sector income-generating business activities in rural Alaska.
The report describes the existing patterns of business activities in rural Alaska and identifies community characteristics that favor different numbers and types of enterprises. The target communities in this study were small, rural communities off the road system with populations ranging from 200 to 1,400 persons.
The data came from four primary sources: the Alaska business license file; a community database compiled from a wide range of public sources; a random sample survey of business enterprises; and in-depth, case study interviews with selected businesses.
To read the following, click on the links below:
- Research summary
- Business matrix
- Profiles of success (23 case studies)
- Full report
- Advisory Board