Tuesday event showcases entrepreneur training program

showcaseMore than 1,100 aspiring entrepreneurs have received training through Kitsap’s BE$T program in the past 14 years.

About 40 of the businesses that BE$T helped launch will be showcased during a Tuesday event at the Bremerton Elks Lodge. The showcase will also honor the most recent graduates from the program, which is now administered by Kitsap Community Resources. 

The BE$T (Business Education Support Training) program provides classes for people interested in starting their own businesses and ongoing support for established businesses. The “boot camps” cover a a wide range of topics including business plans, marketing, taxes, licensing and insurance.

Tuition assistance is available for low-income applicants.

“A lot of entrepreneurs are trying to start a businesses on a shoestring,” Program Manager Dayna Ebersole said.

showcase.2Last year 92 participants graduated from the eight-week training course, resulting in 32 business startups, according to the program’s website. Another 67 existing businesses received counseling and training.

The program got its start as Washington CASH. But the CASH organization lost its grant funding in 2012 and Kitsap Community Resources took on the local the training program locally.

KCR Executive Director Larry Eyer said BE$T complement’s the organization’s other services.

“We think it’s a great fit, because our mission is to help people become economically successful, and become self sufficient,” he said.

The BE$T showcase is scheduled for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at 4131 Pine Road NE. Businesses that have benefitted from BE$T will showcase their goods and services. Guest speakers include Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and state Sen. Christine Rolfes.

For more information on BE$T, call 360-473-2141 or visit the program’s website.

The event is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Kitsap Economic Development Alliance has a full listing of Kitsap GEW events. 

Courtesy photos

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