Dream. Plan. Profit.

That’s this year’s theme at the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Santa Barbara City College. (See scheinfeld.sbcc.edu/.) This fall semester brings the introduction of an Associate of Art degree in business administration, with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and a corresponding certificate of achievement in entrepreneurship.

“The AA degree in business administration with an entrepreneurship emphasis is new,” said the center’s executive director Melissa Moreno, “and I know these types of degrees are growing in number around other community colleges.”

The center is also piloting a new project under the Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE, program called “EntrepriseLAUNCH.” SIFE students will work with Jon Anton, an entrepreneur with a doctorate from Harvard and former researcher at Purdue University. Working with the Scheinfeld Center and its business administration chairman Bonnie Chavez, Anton wants to guide SIFE students through a launch of student businesses in a single semester. Anton is volunteering his time and has made a donation to support seed funding.

SIFE is an international nonprofit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to help students make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. SIFE students meet Friday mornings for three hours for no credit, as if they are participating in a campus club.

“We are pushing students in product development at a small enough scale to be easily funded with the moderate funds we have,” Moreno said. “At our first orientation meeting, we had 45 students committed to the process.”

She said students formed teams based on interest and personality type. “Each team performed a skill-set and interest analysis to come up with a realistic product to match the skills of the team members,” Moreno said. “We will work over the next 13 weeks to launch products and subsequent sales.”

Meanwhile, the cofounder of Carpinteria-based Lynda.com, Lynda Weinman, will tell her story of starting and running a dot-com company on October 23, 3-4:30 p.m., at SBCC’s Fe Bland Forum. A networking reception will follow. Preregistration is required.

Also, through the Small Business Development Center, or SBDC, the Scheinfeld Center provides no-cost targeted consultations and training sessions to small business owners in Santa Barbara County.

“(SBDC) is providing no-cost, targeted one-on-one counseling to small businesses in both south and north counties,” Moreno said. “We are required to engage clients long-term and focus on creating scopes of work for the clients to increase sales, create or retain jobs, secure financing, or help start-ups reach milestones.”

For Santa Barbara County SBDC services, visit sbcountysbdc.org.

The South Coast Biz Blog is a roundup of the latest business news in the Santa Barbara area and is written by Ray Estrada, who has covered business in the region for numerous publications over the past couple decades. See more at independent.com/biz and wordpress.com/southcoastbizblog.


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