Sunday, July 22, 2012

End of Entrepreneur class

Yesterday we finished our Fashion Entrepreneurship class at Canada College, Redwood City. We had 6-7 groups present their full blown business plans for various types of businesses related to fashion.

It always amazes me how multiple people with the same assignment can come up with so many drastically different results. The teams did a terrific job and I learned something new from every one of them.

One item I had never heard before is that there is a program in Chowchilla state women's prison that allows inmates to learn industrial sewing.  One of the groups had received a quote as part of their business plan preparation and was considering actually starting a business and working with women in the program run through the California Joint Venture Program. I went and looked at the website and did not find the information about the sewing program - probably need to call or look harder.

As a class we had a discussion about the reputation of using prison inmate labor. It has a historically bad connotation for most people.  One of the stated goals of this program is that inmates have a chance to gain marketable skills and the ability to earn money and create savings for when they leave the prison.  We could all relate to that as a good thing.  We also thought it might relieve the tedium of being locked up.

I found the class extremely valuable.  I now know how to write a business plan and how to plan for the first few years of a business. I noticed this morning as I read the paper that my thinking has changed - noticing things I wouldn't have previously.

Kudos to our teacher, Dr. Connie Ulasewicz, who brought a richness and unexpected (for me) depth to the course content.  She is among the best teachers I have ever had.  We were all amazed at how much we learned in a 6 day course.  

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