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Local program helping entrepreneurs achieve their dream

Posted at 10:39 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-24 00:19:58-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla., - Have you ever thought about starting or owning your own business? 

Some local people are finding out the ins and outs of becoming an entrepreneur thanks to the Goodwill MicroEnterprise program.

The program was started in 2010 to help unemployed people learn how to make money after the recession.

“The goal of the class is to help aspiring entrepreneurs or struggling entrepreneurs develop a feasibility plan for their business idea or for their existing business,” said Sandra Plazas, a program manager with Goodwill. She says the program is designed for low income individuals who want to learn how to start a business. However, the class is open to everyone.

The class covers topics such as writing a business plan, creating an elevator pitch, and marketing. It’s led by business coaches with guest speakers who are local entrepreneurs.

“It shows you what you have to do to get your business done. If it doesn’t work, it shows you what you need to tweak or change to be able to make it work,” said James Shannon, an entrepreneur looking to grow his business.

Shannon is the founder of Breaking Bread Company, a local bakery in Southwest Florida. He says he’s been baking for as long as he can remember but he officially started his company last year at just 19 years old.

“They say do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” Shannon said. “I love baking so i figured instead of going into business for someone else, let me make my mark on the world.”

His niche is making cakes and cupcakes with unconventional flavors.

“Seeing peoples reaction when they don’t think things come together but they do and the excitement people have, that's what fuels me.”

He graduates from the Goodwill MicroEnterprise class next week. He’ll be among 700 others who’ve done so in the last 8 years. Some have started local businesses such as Zirili’s Chilly Treats, Dairy Free Island Smoothie Bar and Wild About Popcorn.

“If others have done it before me, then there's no reason i can’t do it too,” Shannon said.

Shannon won Best Sweet Treat at Taste of Cape in April. He says his goal now is to open a storefront in the next 3-5 years and eventually have bakery locations across Florida.

Classes are held in Lee, Charlotte and Collier Counties. For more information, click here.