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News Article

FSW and Local Non-Profit Agencies Partner to Help Entrepreneurs “LEARN”

May 12, 2016


MAY 12, 2016 – FORT MYERS, FLA – Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) along with the Lee County Economic Development Office , SCORE, CareerSource of Southwest Florida, and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University recently partnered to create the Lee Entrepreneurs’ Assistance Resource Network (LEARN).

Lee Entrepreneurs’ Assistance Resource Network (LEARN) provides outreach activities and services to entrepreneurs and businesses in Lee County. Working collaboratively, LEARN’s mission is to promote the establishment, retention and expansion of businesses in Lee County.

The partnering LEARN agencies will work together to provide services based on their individual specialties and recommend other partners when their specialties are needed as well. In addition to FSW’s training services, additional partner services include human resources recruitment provided by Career Source, one-on-one business consulting provided by SBDC, and business mentoring from experienced business executives and retired business owners provided by SCORE.

“LEARN functions, among other things, as a kind of clearinghouse for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs to access information on the various services available in the educational, non-profit, volunteer and governmental organizations in southwest Florida,” said Dr. John Meyer, dean, FSW School of Business and Technology. “FSW’s role will revolve around custom or specific training and the potential for grant-funded training through our Corporate Training Department as well as shorter-term college credit skills programs such as college credit certificates on the for-credit side.”

“Part of the benefit accrues from our goal to minimize or eliminate duplication of efforts among the various service providers and our commitment to match an individual’s needs with the provider whose core competency best addresses those needs,” Dr. Meyer said. “For example, companies requiring specialized training or access to state funding for training will be very well served by speaking with FSW’s Corporate Training Department and each of the LEARN partners will know that those two areas are among FSW’s core competencies and will advise service seekers accordingly. Similarly, an entrepreneur needing business consulting would be directed to the SBDC at FGCU, because that’s one of its core competencies. For those with more than one need, each partner will then refer the client to the next appropriate service provider.”

For more information about LEARN, contact Dr. Meyer at (239) 985-3451 or john.meyer@fsw.edu, or Rachel Busch, Strategic Projects Manager, Lee County Economic Development Office at (239) 533-6816 or rbusch@leegov.com. Visit http://www.LEARNSWFL.com.

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Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Annually serving nearly 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees, and professional certifications. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW debuted its intercollegiate athletics program in January 2016. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.

Last Updated: May 12, 2016

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