Registration Opens for Unique Program to Help Aspiring Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners   

Registration is now underway for a unique evening class to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners launch or grow a successful business.  The program is a joint project of Dominican University New York, M&T Bank, and BRIDGES, a community-based, peer-driven, cross-disability, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advocacy and leadership on behalf of people with disabilities. 

Intro to Entrepreneurship is a stand-alone program, and there is no requirement that registrants be enrolled Dominican University students. The class will be held on seven Wednesdays from March 13 through April 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with about one hour of homework for each class.  During the last class, course participants will be eligible to showcase their small business ideas in a Shark Tank style “Rocket Pitch Competition” for a chance to secure seed funding. Three winners will take home $5,000 each, which is funded through a grant from The Bailey Foundation.    

Participants in the program will learn how to:

  • Create a solid business plan that outlines goals, strategies, and financial projections to provide a roadmap for success.
  • Effectively manage credit, from securing loans to optimizing credit utilization.
  • Excel in marketing their business, create a strong brand identity, and attract and retain customers through strategic branding efforts. 
  • Perfect a business proposal pitch to increase the chance of securing investment and forming valuable partnerships.

“Intro to Entrepreneurship lays the groundwork for fostering local innovation, providing young entrepreneurs with the essential knowledge, skills, and drive needed for success,” stated Tyre´ Robinson, M&T Bank Regional President. “M&T Bank is honored to join Dominican University and BRIDGES in this initiative.”

M&T Bank is a generous sponsor and supporter of this collaboration through scholarships, prize money, and promotional considerations.  In addition, M&T will provide financial counselors and branch managers at the majority of class sessions to support small business startups in the lower Hudson Valley.  

Dominican University New York Interim President Sr. Mary Hughes, O.P., Ed.D., said, “This class is a wonderful example of how the community can join together to support small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.  Dominican University is proud to be teaming up with M&T Bank and BRIDGES to educate, encourage, and hopefully inspire entrepreneurs.”

Dominican University graduate students who take the class will receive credit toward their Capstone requirement and undergraduate students will receive one credit toward their business degree. The Intro to Entrepreneurship class costs $782. Scholarships are available.

BRIDGES CEO Carlos Martinez said, “People with disabilities, veterans, and people formerly involved in the justice system often face challenges and barriers to employment and financial self-sufficiency. Entrepreneurship is a clear pathway to autonomy, and we are elated to collaborate with M&T Bank and Dominican University to bring this Intro to Entrepreneurship mini-course to our community, empowering future and early-stage business owners to follow their dreams. This initiative is at the heart of BRIDGES’ mission to remove barriers and advance autonomy for all.”

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