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Sebastopol Entrepreneurs Project Update - April 2015


Sebastopol Entrepreneurs Project
Update - April 2015

The Sebastopol Entrepreneurs Project was founded on the belief that providing three basic business focused services to the west Sonoma County community would help grow our local economy and improve the economic well-being of our neighbors.

For SEP, those three elements include:

1) our one-on-one Business Advisory services;

2) our community Business Education programs and;

3) our low-cost coworking space

We sometimes refer to the three elements as the three legs of SEP’s stool and we all know how steady a 3-legged stool can be.

Thanks to the generosity of the Sonoma County Gazette team we plan to use this column to share more information about the Sebastopol Entrepreneurs Project by digging in to each of the legs of our stool starting with our community Business Education program.

We have been offering no cost (donation only) education programs almost since our inception according to Jeffrey Schmidt, current SEP Education chairperson. We’ve provided business education to an estimated 500+/- participants. We try to stay on track with our goal of “almost monthly” classes only skipping an occasional date when the regular 3rd Thursday of the month class schedule overlaps with holidays.

Our goal is to provide information that participants can apply to their everyday business lives. Past classes have included basics of developing business plans, cost analysis tools, several classes covering all aspects of marketing from conventional to web-based such as Internet marketing and social media, ‘ask the expert’ panel discussions including local business leaders, time management, money matters, business financing options, government sponsored business development programs, the list goes on!

We have noticed an interesting trend with some of the topics for our classes.  Participants have told us that some subjects are simply too complex to cover in a one and one half hour class.  Some have asked if we could develop second level, more in-depth classes to allow more comprehensive coverage of certain topics or to offer workshops so participants could get hands-on experience.  Jeffrey and Gay McFarren, SEP Executive Director, are working with several of our up-coming presenters to develop options that meet this challenge while keeping costs to a minimum.

Check out up-coming classes and register your email to get more information at Thanks for your support of the Sebastopol Entrepreneurs Project.

Ludwig Furtner, President of SEP Board of Directors
Gay McFarren, Executive Director