Earlier this year, CEDA administered the Microenterprise Pilot Program with the City of Auburn.  The program was directed at low-to-moderate income Auburn residents who were either entrepreneurs or owners of start-ups under 2 years with 5 employees or less.

The City of Auburn made available for the program $25,000 in grant money, and CEDA contributed an additional $5,000. Sponsorship from Tompkins Trust Company helped make this program a success.  The grant in combination with an eight-week education series was designed to help the business owners enhance and grow their businesses.

The program included eight, hour-long sessions covering business function from inception to succession planning.  CEDA Staff, SCORE Mentors and local professionals provided instruction.  In addition to the actual training courses, participants were asked to complete support work, such as worksheets, webinars and research to enhance their understanding and aid in the creation of a viable business plan. Along with providing valuable training on business plans, financial literacy, basic business functions and funding, the program introduced participants to a network of professionals, mentors and resource partners. One-on-one mentoring was provided for the specific needs of their business.

The launch of this program generated a large amount of interest, and the results from the pilot were very promising.  Five entrepreneurs completed all program requirements. CEDA has made it a goal to run this program again. Subscribe to our email list for updates on future programs like this and other economic development news from Cayuga County.