Technical Assistance

Consulting services are offered at no charge to you and are available in the following areas:

  • Business administration
  • Financial analysis
  • Operations & general management
  • Internet & new technologies
  • Strategic planning
  • Public/private contracting/procurement
  • Debt advisory
  • Customer service
  • Salesmanship
  • Lending
  • Instruction in the use of financial statements to manage a business
  • Certification assistance
  • Lease agreements
  • QuickBooks
  • Permits & licensing
  • Human resources

Overview

Whether you are a current business owner or just getting started in opening your business, you will more than likely run into roadblocks and challenges along the way. VSEDC has experienced consultants who are available to help you and your business. Technical assistance is offered in one-on-one or group settings to guide you in developing a relevant and functional plan for your business, and address issues specific to your business. Our consultants come from various experiential backgrounds and demonstrate sustained success in their consulting efforts.

To schedule a consultation, please complete the attached Intake & Waiver form and email to bec@vsedc.org.

For group TA sessions, please visit VSEDC’s calendar. Requests for TA are processed in the following order:

Clients enrolled in the Entrepreneurial Training Program

Business owners with active LA City business licenses and/or residents of the City of Los Angeles

Business owners seeking loan packaging assistance

Others on a case-by-case basis

Loan Assistance

Overview

Capital is the lifeblood of small business. Many companies often fail due to the lack of cash flow in their company. Recognizing the essentiality of capital, VSEDC provides ongoing support to aid in business owners’ access capital. Our expert team of loan consultants can assist you with identifying the capital needed and the appropriate financial resource. In addition, VSEDC counselors can assist you with the compiling your loan package. VSEDC utilizes relationships with lending institutions such as Valley Economic Development Center and Small Business Administration representatives to refer participants for loan funding. A summary of loan programs includes:

Seminars, Forums, Events

Overview

VSEDC’s Seminars & Roundtables are a valuable offering to the entrepreneur community providing information on timely and relevant topics for business owners. The seminar and roundtable series consist of inviting active business leaders in sectors such as business consulting, e-commerce, marketing, website development and the lending industry to present useful tools and information. Attendees benefit from the insight of professionals who are substantively involved in the industry and maintain up-to-the-minute knowledge about trends and developments affecting business owners. These events are structured in an interactive format which encourages questions from attendees and allows for feedback.

An abbreviated sample of recent offerings include:

“Protecting You, Your Family and Your Business: Retirement Planning for Entrepreneurs”

“Leadership & Management Techniques and Tips for Entrepreneurs”

“Target Marketing for Small Business Owners”

“Everything Accounted For: Quickbooks Accounting for Small Businesses”

“Sales Strategies for the Holiday Season”

“You’re Hired: Contracts & Procurement”

Entrepreneur-To-Entrepreneur: Business Networking

Recognizing the potential that lies in business owners dialoguing and collaborating with other business owners, VSEDC coordinates networking events three times a year. These events provide business owners the opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs to exchange best practices, triumphs and challenges. Annual networking events include:

CEO Sisters: Panel Discussion & Networking Mixer (October)

Holiday Networking Mixer (December

Special Forums

In addition to ongoing workshops and networking events, VSEDC also periodically sponsors day-long forums on topics relevant to business owners. Recent events have included:

Lending Forum—annual event consisting of workshops on building personal and business credit, a panel discussion with lending representatives and one-on-one technical assistance on lending

Business Resource Forum—event which covers tax considerations for business owners, State Enterprise Zone incentives and contract procurement resources

View the Program Calendar for information on upcoming events.

To view photographs from recent events, click here.

Faq

What are the requirements to enroll in the Entrepreneurial Training Program?

Participants in the program are typically in the planning stages of starting a business or currently running a business.

To enroll in the program, participants are required to:

  • Complete an application which includes stating current income
  • If a City of Los Angeles resident, provide California identification or other documentation (i.e. utility bill) to verify L.A. address
  • Report on aspects of their business over a two year period—revenues, business licenses obtained or articles of incorporation filed, and jobs created/retained—and commit to submitting verification documents
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Do I have to currently run a business to participate in the program?

No. If you are not currently operating a business, you should enroll in the Level I class which is designed to guide you through the process of narrowing your business idea and determining its feasibility. Though you are not required to have a business license or DBA to take the Level I class, participants are encouraged to apply for their business license or DBA within 2-4 weeks after taking the Level I class.

I have various business ideas, should I take the Level I or II class?

If you are just starting your business and are unclear about which specific idea you will execute, you should take the Level I class. The class will provide tools to assist you with researching your ideas to determine which is most feasible.

Should I wait until I have written my business plan and applied for a business license, corporation, tax ID number, etc. before participating in ETP?

Level I participants are not required to have completed the business plan or possess any licenses. However, as the Level II class is focused on assisting individuals with launching or expanding the business, we strongly encourage participants of the Level II course to have obtained a business license and/or DBA before enrolling in the class. Workshops are offered on a monthly covering an overview of business legal structures and in-depth guidance on completing the LA City Business License and LA County Fictitious Business Name forms. See Program Calendar for upcoming sessions.

I am interested in starting a non-profit organization. Is the Entrepreneurial Training Program appropriate for me?

Yes. In the increasingly competitive non-profit funding environment, it is essential for non-profit managers to demonstrate adequate planning, capacity to implement and prospects for success. ETP provides an opportunity to conduct in-depth planning on the aspects of a non-profit. The business plan writing class, especially, allows for prospective non-profit leaders to consider the proposed demographic to be served (market), the operations and management structure, and financial outlook of the non-profit. Additionally, previous participants have used the business plan as a template for grant applications that often require similar information (i.e. organization’s history, capacity to implement proposed programs, etc.)

I’m already in business, why should I take the business plan writing class?

Business owners actively running a business often encounter roadblocks such as decreased capital and rapid change, and are unable to respond to these challenges due to a lack of planning. A business plan is an essential tool to mitigate these challenges, establish goals and develop a solid plan for success and growth. The business plan writing class challenges entrepreneurs to consider different variables and conduct strategic planning. In addition, if funding of any type is desired, a business plan is a required document.

How long is the program?

The Level I class is a two-hour session that meets once a week for 3 weeks. The Level II class is a three-session that meets once a week for 8 weeks. However, upon entering the program, VSEDC conducts follow-up with participants and provides ongoing support for two years.

When are the classes offered?

View the Program Calendar for upcoming classes.

Where is the class located?

The classes are hosted at VSEDC’s Business Enterprise Center located at 6109 S. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90047. Classes also take place at the sites of partner organizations.

Is there a fee?

There is no fee to participate in the program; only an investment of time and energy, and a commitment to fulfilling the course requirements and executing your business idea.

I have so many questions about starting a business and don’t know where to begin! What to do?

Breathe! Entrepreneurship is an exciting but overwhelming prospect with many variables to consider. The Entrepreneurial Training Program offers a foundation to explore the multiple aspects of business ownership and establish a roadmap for success.