First Generation Entrepreneurs Get Support To Sustain And Grow Their Businesses

First-generation entrepreneurs with established businesses in New Jersey can take advantage of a training program that provides expertise and resources to help take their businesses to the next level. The Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI) is a highly selective and exclusive nine-month program from The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers Business School that offers intensive, practical training, step-by-step coaching, and numerous networking and financing opportunities.

EPI is a cornerstone of Rutgers Business School’s efforts to nurture and promote entrepreneurs. EPI will help selected participants develop a detailed strategic growth plan and the technical, operational and management skills needed for success. Along with like-minded entrepreneurs, participants will learn how to generate growth, build your brand, accelerate strategic alliances, focus your finances, and much more.

A 2012 survey of alumni from EPI’s first three graduating classes showed 93% of the businesses continued to thrive after their owners participated in the program. Seventy-four percent of the alumni who completed the survey reported an increase in profits and 58% said they added workers, creating at least 84 new jobs since the start of the EPI program in 2009.

EPI recently received a special recognition award for education innovation during the annual conference of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. One of its major purposes is to identify the best university programs throughout the world that have done the most to advance the study and teaching of entrepreneurship. The awards recognize outstanding initiatives in both undergraduate and graduate programs and also serve to inspire other colleges and universities.

Applications are currently being considered for the 6th annual EPI class, which starts in April 2014.  To apply to the program, complete the online application. Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2014. An EPI information session will take place on March 24th.