Become a Successful Entrepreneur

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FDTC_entrepreneurAn entrepreneurial spirit is becoming more and more important to success in today’s marketplace. Being able to brand yourself can set you apart, but having the confidence and skills to step out on your own can be the difference between success and failure. Florence-Darlington Technical College’s (FDTC) Entrepreneurship Certificate will give you that confidence and can guide you through the steps to being a successful entrepreneur.

The Entrepreneurship Certificate was developed by Florence-Darlington Technical College, the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology, and the South Carolina Small Business Development Center.

“The Entrepreneur Certificate is taught solely online as part of FDTC’s Online College,” said Mitch House, Business Department Chair at FDTC. “It is important to note that whether you have a fulltime job, children or whatever the scenario may be, you can complete the coursework at your own pace within the scheduled deadlines. While you’re enrolled in this certificate program, you’ll have the opportunity to develop strategic management skills that are integral to succeeding in today’s competitive marketplace, recognize key legal concepts that affect all areas of business, examine ever-changing domestic and global issues confronting employers and prepare marketing and financial business plans.”

Throughout the semester, you’ll also be introduced to the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT) and its capabilities, such as additive manufacturing, advanced machining and 3D interactive production.

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There are five courses and one work experience opportunity included in the certificate, and all of this information will guide you step-by-step on your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. FDTC has split the classes into three categories: Key Business Courses, Key Finance Management Courses and Cooperative Work Experience.

“The knowledge you get from the five core courses will be invaluable to you no matter what endeavor you decide to go into when you graduate from FDTC.”
- Mark Roth, Director of the SiMT

Key Business Courses

• BUS 110 Entrepreneurship:
This is the first course of the certificate, and it will introduce you to the process of starting a small business, including forms of ownership and management. Also, a full set of marketing and financial plans will be developed.

• BUS 117 Innovation:
The second class of the Key Business Courses category is a study of techniques that foster the use of personal creativity in the development of new business ventures. The coursework will examine ways to generate, assess and implement new ideas.

• BUS 123 Business Law II:
This particular course is a study of negotiable instruments, property law, acquisition and transfer of title, bailments, duties and liabilities of common carriers, innkeepers, warehousemen and agencies.

Key Finance Management Courses

• BAF 260 Financial Management:
This class is the first of the Key Finance and Management Courses category. It is the study of financial analysis and planning. Classroom topics include working capital management and procurement, capital budgeting and project justification and cost of capital.

• MGT 121 Small Business Operations:
The course will study the daily operations of small business, emphasizing key human resource topics, demand forecasting and inventory management and marketing.

Cooperative Work Experience

• CWE 111 Cooperative Work Experience:
This is the final step in completing the Entrepreneurship Certificate. The five previous classes have provided the basis for working with professionals in their environment as you put all of your knowledge to the test. You will gain experience through working with the Hartsville Chamber of Commerce and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), the SiMT and the Gould Business Incubator.

“The knowledge you get from the five core courses will be invaluable to you no matter what endeavor you decide to go into when you graduate from FDTC,” said Mark Roth, Director of the SiMT, one of the instructors in the program, and a serial entrepreneur himself.

As you complete the curriculum throughout the semester, you’ll also be given advice from entrepreneurs based in the Pee Dee area. In fact, entrepreneurs from FDTC’s 2015 Inaugural Entrepreneurial Forum Gala will share their experiences of success and failure.

“Students who take the Entrepreneurship Certificate will gain priceless advice from the Pee Dee’s most successful entrepreneurs,” said Jill Lewis, VP for Institutional Advancement and Development. “These entrepreneurs have found success, but for most of them, it was quite a journey filled with many challenges and, for some, failures. They will share their knowledge of what it takes to be successful and how to overcome the tough times.”

Mike Bell, Area Manager for the Small Business Development Centers of SC, is also an instructor in this program. Bell has extensive experience in all aspects of helping Entrepreneurs achieve success.

“I am really excited about this new certificate program and how it is designed to flow into the Gould Business Incubator,” said Bell. “Many business owners find operating their own business to be rewarding, as well as frustrating.  Most often, startup owners do not look at all of the facts from a realistic point of view. The material covered in this class encourages participants to be realistic in evaluating their plans for a startup. Participants will find that they have an opportunity to engage the skills that will be needed in the daily operation of their business. I am very excited that we are offering this certificate program that I feel will help produce more successful startups.”

Once having completed the certificate and you feel that your ideas are worth investing in, the Gould Business Incubator, located on FDTC’s Main Campus, can provide the essentials to get you started at an extremely affordable price. Not only that, but by taking these courses, you’ll already have made business contacts that may be able to catapult your brand even further. Everything you need to succeed is right here at Florence-Darlington Technical College.

“What FDTC has created, is a complete circle, of education and experience,” Roth said. “Not only can we train you on how to be an entrepreneur, but we can house you in an efficient manner to make it easier to start and be successful in business. To help in your efforts we have the Gould Business Incubator, which sustains an amazing entrepreneurial culture. The Incubator provides a safe haven to germinate your idea and get your idea off the ground”.

- Hunter Thomas

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