St. Louis MoDOT Entrepreneurship Training Program
What is the MoDOT Entrepreneurship Training Program and what does it do?
The program is facilitated and delivered by the MO SBTDC, a BDP unit, and its intent is to help Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms build business skills in specific and measurable areas. To be certified as a DBE, a firm must be a small business owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. (See more: transportation.gov/osdbu) The program encourages participants, prime contractors and other professionals to engage regularly and collaboratively. Once business owners have completed the program, they are better prepared to work with MoDOT.
Why work with MoDOT?
The department’s annual construction budget has dropped but was still estimated at $700 million in 2014.
For the first time in the history of the program, 100 percent of MO SBTDC participants, 17 individuals in total, completed the 11-week training. The class actively engaged with instructors, facilitators, guest speakers and most importantly each other and boasted a more than 95 percent attendance each week. This achievement is remarkable in that participants attended class at the same time they worked hard to run their companies and take them to the next level.
Participants also credited Kevin Wilson, director, St. Louis SBTDC, and Lynette Watson, business development specialist, St. Louis SBTDC, with making the class so informative, worthwhile and relevant to their day-to-day issues. They also reiterated that a missed class might be a missed opportunity because they were sharing information, potential opportunities and contacts with each other.
To top this success, the Small Business Administration-Eastern Region recently named two participants small business owners of the year. Lynn Larkin received the Women-Owned Business of the Year Award and Charlie McCarty received the Veteran Business of the Year Award.
McCarty sums up his experience with the 2015 class and trainers as follows:
“Hello Lynette, I want to thank you and Kevin for a GREAT learning experience over the past three months. You have a one of a kind way of presenting and the rapport that you have with the class is remarkable. I am so proud to be a part of the class as well as your and Kevin’s friend. Semper Fi to the two of you. Charlie.”– Lynette Watson, business development specialist, St. Louis SBTDC. For more information on the MoDOT Entrepreneurship Training Program, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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