Students in Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Cosmetology program spend months learning how to cut, color, and style hair along with all the other tasks they must master to become hair stylists. Now they’re learning another skill that many of them will need to know—how to start and manage their own salon businesses.

Thanks to PCC’s Small Business Center (SBC), Cosmetology students are getting this training by completing workshops leading to an Entrepreneurship Certificate.

“When we ask our students about their career goals, some of them say they want to start their own business,” said Fayecha Smith, PCC Cosmetology instructor. “The entrepreneurship workshop gave our students the opportunity to learn how to do that.”

The SBC recently presented the series of workshops in the cosmetology classroom. The series, valued at $595, was presented at no charge due to the special funding arrangements with PCC’s Small Business Center. The interactive workshops introduced the prospective entrepreneurs to the major aspects of starting, funding, operating, and managing a business successfully. Topics centered on the mindset of an entrepreneur, marketing strategies, legal aspects, funding and financial management, and managing a business to make money.

“The students really enjoyed the workshops and received a lot of information, including contact numbers from the presenters,” said Smith. “The total financial breakdown of what’s required to have a business in a desirable location was eye-opening for them.”

The workshop presenters, provided by “Simply” Sue Speaks of Greensboro, featured presenter Carol Andrews, a television personality and owner of Focused Communications. Andrews taught the students about creating a brand for their business and even helped the students videotape their own 30-second commercials during one of the sessions.

Other presenters included Debbie Wright, a nationally-recognized risk management expert and co-owner of Breakthrough Access Solutions; and Bianca Cobb, an internationally known body language and non-verbal communication expert. Also a television personality, she is the owner of TruthBlazers Inc.

Students who completed all five workshops were presented entrepreneurship certificates in a graduation ceremony at the conclusion of the course.

Carl Smalls, PCC Small Business Center director, said the partnership between the SBC and the Cosmetology program instructors is a new venture that benefits everyone. As part of the entrepreneurship series, he introduced the students to other free workshops and counseling that is available through the SBC and encouraged them to use these services when they start their own businesses. Smalls said he is in the process of exploring similar partnerships in other programs across the campus.

The Small Business Center (SBC) provides a number of services targeting both prospective and existing small business owners. Confidential counseling, seminars, a resource library, and access to experts in the accounting, legal, management, marketing and technology fields are some of the prepaid services provided through the SBC. Also located in the center is a business incubator for both start-ups and emerging companies. For information, call the SBC at 599-0032.



Photo information

Debbie Wright, risk management expert and co-owner of Breakthrough Access Solutions, talks with PCC Cosmetology students about risk management in business as part of the Small Business Center’s entrepreneurship workshops.

Working in small groups, students outlined the risks facing salon owners as part of their risk management workshop. Pictured from left are: seated, Stephanie Dunn, Jeanette Keith, and Brooke Fabean; and standing, Courtney Street and Brandy Hargis.

PCC cosmetology students Leslie Puryear, Danelle Jackson, Tiffany McKeithon, and Emily Regan look at the financial risks of salon ownership.

PCC cosmetology student Makeda Thomas practices her hair techniques under the watchful eye of Cosmetology program director Deanna Ouzts.

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