The Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce announced Friday the launch of a new program to support entrepreneurs in Vicksburg and Warren County.
The program, the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp, is a six-week program geared toward individuals interested in starting or growing their small business. The program will cover everything from legal, finance, accounting, marketing, and all other essential components associated with starting and running a successful small business. The program is sponsored by the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Vicksburg, Hinds Community College, and area banks including Bancorpsouth, Mutual Credit Union, Home Bank, River Hills Bank, Regions, Guaranty Bank and Trustmark. At the end of the program, entrepreneurs will be encouraged to finalize their business plan and submit it to a committee for review and ranking. The entrepreneur that develops the best and most feasible business plan will be declared the recipient of a “Seed Grant” in the amount of $1,000 to help him or her with the cost of opening up or improving their small business.
“The program is aimed at generating more small business openings in the area,” said Sheila McKinnis, chairperson of the Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. “This program will take new or soon to-be entrepreneurs through a process that will allow them to be better prepared to decide, before they make an investment, if their business idea is likely to succeed in the marketplace. We sure want more small businesses to open, but the most important thing we want to help them accomplish, is to be able to keep that business open for a long time while making a good profit year over year.”
Mayor George Flaggs Jr. added his endorsement of the program.
“Small businesses are the foundation of our city and they provide thousands of jobs for our residents. The city is 100% behind this program because we want to encourage our own residents to start their small businesses,” Flaggs said. “We have plenty of opportunities for businesses to be successful in Vicksburg, either in downtown, in any of the retail corridors, or even from their own homes. I believe Vicksburgers have what it takes and, if you are out there thinking about it and are not yet 100% sure, this is the program that will help you make an informed decision and move forward. I appreciate the banking community’s support for helping the program get started, and I hope to soon be cutting many more ribbons in the City of Vicksburg because of it.”
Participants will also benefit from working with a business coach and listening to keynote speakers during sessions which will include successful entrepreneurs, bankers, accountants and lawyers among others.
“This program is an essential part of economic development for our community,” said Dr. Jeff Holland, president of the Warren County Board of Supervisors. “It represents a wonderful jump-start toward the types of things we are planning to highlight as part of our efforts at the Thad Cochran Mississippi Center for Innovation and Technology starting in the fall of 2021.”
The program is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Oct. 6. Each class will be taught Tuesday nights from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the new Hinds Community College Workforce Training center. The deadline to register for this class is Friday, Oct. 2. You can register online by going to www.vicksburgusa.com/entrepreneur, by contacting the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce at 601-636-1012, or by email at [email protected]