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Info Session Offered for Budding Entrepreneurs

Submitted by on September 6, 2012 – 12:45 pm

An information session for Northern Essex Community College’s 20-week, noncredit Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) will be held Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the NECC Riverwalk, 360 Merrimack St., bldg. 9, entry K, Lawrence.

The next session will begin Oct. 9 at the Riverwalk. Anyone interested in the ETP must attend this information session, complete an application, and interview for acceptance into the program.

This daytime program is designed to provide the budding entrepreneur with the skills and knowledge to prepare and implement a tailor-made, comprehensive business plan. This certificate program includes sessions on market research, marketing tools, product/service differentiation, networking, sales techniques, presentation skills, financial management, as well as legal and insurance issues, human resources, time management.

More than 6,000 students enroll each year in NECC noncredit classes, which, like ETP are of a personal or professional interest to the individual.

Paul Jermain of Jermain & Company has been teaching ETP for 10 years at NECC. The class is popular with entrepreneurs from Lowell to Gloucester who want practical, hands-on experience writing a business plan and launching a new venture.

Martha Harding-Dyson of Methuen is just such a student. A 25-year employee of the United States Postal Service and former bridal shop co-owner, she recently launched Treetop Brides after attending ETP. She creates miniature, porcelain bride and groom dolls featuring the same eye and hair color as the bride and groom with a handmade replica of the bridal gown.

Other recent ETP businesses have included a socially conscious coffee shop, a wine import business, and a high-end “personal history” publishing and video production company.

This program has been offered 30 times over the last decade. Seventy percent of the graduates have launched businesses and of those 70* were still in business 2 to 3 years later.

For more information call Dianne (Dee) Lahaye, program assistant, at 978-659-1222 or email at or contact Diane Zold-Gross, program administrator at 978-659-1221 or email for details, directions, or to reserve a seat. For a complete list of noncredit courses visit