JMI turns focus to non-profits for next three-month course

Keith Bowers
The Regional Director of Small Business Development Center at FAMU

Mike Campbell
North Florida Director of the Jim Moran Institute



By Cedrell Mitchell
Outlook writer

With the economic downturn 10 years ago still affecting the livelihoods of millions across the country, many in Tallahassee have turned to start-up businesses for an income.

Most do so without professional guidance. The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship has been taking steps to change that through its executive small business programs at Florida State University.

“When the economy began to collapse (between) 2008-2009, a lot of people were getting laid off and businesses were closing down,” said Keith Bowers.  “That was a wakeup call to see that working for a company in corporate America is not as secure as it used to be.”

Bowers is director of the Small Business Development Center that is housed on FAMU’s campus.

The Small Business Development Center has partnered with Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship over the years.
Individuals aren’t the only ones that the institute helps to get the most financially out of what they do.

For the past six years, the institute has focused on non-profits with a program that helps them maximize income at a time when the economy forces donors to give less. Starting in March and running through May, the institute will hold its next Nonprofit Executive Program.

CEOs and executive directors of organizations that have been operating more than three years are eligible to apply. Sign up is underway. Openings are available for only 24 participants, which the institute will select.

The Nonprofit Executive Program is a spinoff of the institute’s Global Entrepreneurship’s Small Business Executive Program. The upcoming session will focus on the Lean Operation Model with an emphasis on the business aspect of running a nonprofit.

Participants will be selected after they meet specific criteria, said Michael Campbell, director of the Institute’s North Florida Operations.

“We have a committee that looks at the applications and they have to provide certain answers,” Campbell said. “We serve businesses with three or more employees and have been in business for over three years (and) that’s the minimum criteria.”

Since being established in 1995, the Institute has become widely known for its work with business owners. It partners with others in entrepreneurship, including the Small Business Development Center.

“One of the things that we provide is a presentation about the importance of financial analysis and understanding the numbers from the business standpoint,” said Bowers.

While the Institute is under FSU College of Business, its primary focus is small businesses and non-profits.

The demand for entrepreneurship has increased drastically since the mid 2000s, proof that there is a demand for executive courses such as the programs offered by the institute.

Bowers has seen the demand firsthand.

“When you study the statistics, you realize that minorities and women are starting businesses at a faster pace than the majority and men,” Bowers said. “That is also causing a renewal of energy in people wanting to take a risk and start their own business.”

David Muir, a self-employed photographer developed an appreciation for the opportunity to learn more about starting up his own business. He was among the students chosen to participate in classes offered by the institute in Fort Lauderdale three years ago.

“It was great for me,” he said. “It is exceptional for CEO’s to actually be in a classroom with other decision makers and we were also being taught by experts in the business.”

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