Friday evening’s session will begin at the Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center and Museum and finish at The Artisan Center with dinner, a keynote speaker and panel of local entrepreneurs, as well as a tour of the Fab Lab. Saturday’s session will take place at PHCC’s uptown classroom on the first floor of Jefferson Plaza, next to the former location of the Daily Grind coffeehouse.
The two-day course is geared toward students at PHCC, the New College Institute, and other area colleges who are interested in turning a business idea into reality. A limited number of slots are available to local high school students. Kimberly Buck, coordinator of community development programs, said there are still spaces available.
“This program came about because there are lots of local resources available to small businesses and entrepreneurs, but this workshop is aimed specifically at students,” she said. “People often think of entrepreneurs as being the owners of brick and mortar stores, but there are lots of other opportunities for service providers, as well – such as an art student becoming a freelance artist doing graphic design or web design. Others may want to start their own business in computer repair, massage therapy, childcare or a wide range of other areas.”
The program is designed to give an introduction to the “nuts and bolts” of starting a business and connecting students with more resources to make it happen, according to Buck.
“Everyone has the potential to become an entrepreneur,” Buck said. “We want to encourage people to think outside the box, even if entrepreneurship is not their field of study.”
The program features a number of successful local business owners who will speak to the group. Additionally, they will visit the Martinsville Mini Maker Faire at the Fab Lab, a free event that will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Artisan Center, and the historical museum at the former Henry County courthouse to learn about entrepreneurial roots of the community.
The program was made possible by a Chancellor’s Innovation Fund grant given to PHCC by Virginia’s Community Colleges. The grant, which totals nearly $25,000, was made to increase entrepreneur opportunities to students in degree tracks and those enrolled in noncredit courses.
Pre-registration for Jump Start Weekend is required. Registration is $15, which includes dinner, breakfast, lunch and a ticket to a show at Rives Theatre. Participants should register by April 30 to attend. Payments can be brought to the Artisan Center, located in uptown Martinsville at 54 W. Church St.
Call (276) 656-0343 or email to register now. Also visit www.patrickhenry.edu/surveys/jumpstart to reserve your spot online.
Jump Start participants will be eligible to win prizes in an upcoming business competition. Further details will be shared with participants after registration.
Also on the same weekend is the Spring Craft Fair, planned for Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outdoors beside the Artisan Center. Visitors are welcome to shop for handcrafted items made by local and regional artisans in the very first outdoor craft fair.
Space for vendors in all artistic media is still available. To find out more, visit www.artisancenter.org or call (276) 632-0066.