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Opening Doors Blog

THRIVE Conference February 27, 2016

Thursday, March 03, 2016

On Saturday, February 27, 2016, Boulder SBDC had the pleasure of helping coordinate and participate in the first bilingual THRIVE Conference at Front Range Community College in Longmont.  

The conference was aimed toward helping Boulder County residents with low to moderate incomes build assets. Topics included Homeownership, Social Action, Money Skills, Older Adults, Education, Business, and Health. The goal of the conference was to help make connections for a brighter future. Through workshops, interactive lunch discussions, and a resource fair, attendees set “Make It Happen” goals to take the next step in building a stronger future for themselves, their families and our community. 

We were able to offer two business-related workshops in Spanish and English. One included a panel of small business owners who talked through the challenges and successes they experienced starting their own business, resources that helped them, and advice for people just starting or thinking about starting a business.  Attendees asked lots of great questions and even gave some advice to others in the room from their own experiences. During the Spanish version of the panel presentation, participants were eager to learn from our Assistant Director, Mark Gittes, about importing from other countries, such as Mexico. Everyone seemed to gain something from the discussions. Thank you to Rocio Perez, CEO of Inventiva Consulting, Betty Artes of Casa Alvarez Foods and Mark Gittes, Assistant Director for the Boulder SBDC for sharing such great advice with aspiring entrepreneurs!

The second workshop we offered was How to Start & Correctly Operate a Small Business with SBDC Consultant Jesse Esparza. Jesse covered topics such as determining your target market and finding your competition as well as other key elements to starting a business. He also shared helpful resources for getting started. After the workshop, one attendee exclaimed, "This was exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for all of the great information!"

Other workshop topics throughout the day included financial empowerment (understanding the power of savings), how to pay medical bills on a limited income, healthy and local eating, social action (how to create positive social change), how to enroll in a university, powerful steps toward owning a home, and basics of Medicare. 

View photos of the event by clicking here!  

Thank you to the organizations that were a part of the steering committee!

·         Jamie Brandess, Marketing and Events Manager, Boulder Small Business Development Center

·         Rebecca Chavez, Director, Admission & Outreach, Front Range Community College

·         Nino Gallo, PIE/IDA Program Coordinator, Boulder County Community Action Programs

·         Cynthia Garcia, Bilingual Admission and Outreach Representative, Front Range Community College

·   Eliberto Mendoza, Boulder County Community Action Programs 

·         Katie Pague, Boulder County Housing & Financial Counseling Coordinator

·         Rosemary Thompson, PIE/IDA Coordinator, Foothills United Way

·         Lisa Widdekind, Emergency Management Coordinator, Boulder County Public Health

·         Katie Wade, Respite & Companion Volunteer Program Coordinator, Boulder County Area Aging Services

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