While small business development courses have been offered in Nevada’s urban and metropolitan areas (Washoe and Clark counties) for some time, the need for economic development in rural counties is even more critical. Extension offered business planning classes to existing and potential small-scale entrepreneurs through a series of interactive video and face-to-face classes.

Due to the overall economic downturn in some of Nevada’s rural counties, coupled with the recent drought, economic profitability is especially important. While small business development courses have been offered in Nevada’s urban and metropolitan areas (Washoe and Clark counties) for some time, the need for economic development in rural counties is even more critical. 

For the second year, Extension offered entrepreneur classes to residents of seven rural counties. Extension educators in Pershing and Lander Counties partnered with Nevada Microenterprise Initiative and Nevada Job Connect to offer four business planning classes to existing and potential small-scale entrepreneurs through a series of interactive video and face-to-face classes. In the classes, students learned to assess the feasibility of their business ideas and then developed a complete business plan in order to seek outside funding. Participants also received instruction concerning the components of a business plan. 

In a course evaluation for the multi-county class, respondents gave the overall course a rating of 4.0 (1=poor, 5=excellent). Statistically significant improvements were shown in 1) knowledge of business plan components 2) market data collection and analysis and 3) knowledge of the financial aspects of starting a business. 

As a result of the classes, several businesses opened in rural Nevada. In Hawthorne, Nevada, a floral shop opened. The new owner stated that the class "has been an eye-opening course and I am anxious to get into business."

In Battle Mountain, Nevada, a woman with 25 years of experience making handcrafted tile decorations opened her business for interior designers. She said the classes made her feel more confident that her unique business would work. 

At Tonopah, one student is in the process of purchasing a car wash and another is running a clothier business on main street.

 

Learn more about the program's team

Holly Gatzke
Program Leader & Contact
Buddy Borden
Program Contact
Thomas Harris
Program Contact