The American economy needs both big business and small business to survive and prosper. Small businesses, as a whole, contribute greatly to the growth and renewal of regional and national economies. And, it is the entrepreneurs who bring that growth and prosperity through their ingenuity and creativity.
To prepare individuals for success as entrepreneurs, the CETE has released the fourth edition of the Program for Acquiring Competence in Entrepreneurship (PACE).
Many entrepreneurs have the basic knowledge, skills, and ability in a specific trade to provide a service or produce a product. They may even have a product prototype or field-tested product. However, potential entrepreneurs lack the resources, basic business acumen, or knowledge of where to turn for assistance to take their skill or product and develop a viable business enterprise. PACE provides entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources to start and manage a business.
PACE targets the adult workforce and community college and technical school students as well as independent workers wanting to start their own business. Most business start-ups are in the trades, construction, basic services, basic manufacturing, food, and even transportation industries. And, PACE focuses on these types of small business ventures.
When first published in the late 1980s, PACE properly emphasized that entrepreneurship was based as much on sound planning as having products and services that were responsive to the marketplace. Through its various revisions, PACE continued to focus on the general importance of planning and managing the startup of a small business.
The current PACE edition represents a necessary break from past versions in both its format and content. The text format has been substantially changed from paragraphs to a series of related sections with subheadings. This change allows readers to have greater accessibility to the information, whether it is delivered via a printed booklet or a technology-based approach. And, the format allows the instructor/facilitator to have greater flexibility in selecting content to accommodate the needs of various audiences and settings.
In regards to the content, PACE continues to emphasize the importance of planning and managing of a small business. But it now includes a renewed emphasis on meeting customer expectations. Any business cannot exist without a comprehensive understanding of who receives its products or services. In this sense, PACE introduces the topic of conducting e-commerce. Until recently, the entrepreneurial horizon may have been limited to serving local customers only. The advent of the Internet offers the promise of serving more customers, but not without the accompanying challenges.
A bonus to the fourth edition will include the resources available in each of the 50 states for entrepreneurs for technical assistance, regulation, and licensing information. The resource information will list the Web sites and phone numbers of state and other agencies supporting the development of small businesses.
All PACE materials are available in PDF format on a CD-ROM or in print. The 22 PACE modules are also available individually or grouped in three clusters. Entrepreneurs can now obtain information on specific topics and gain the desired knowledge they need.
Community colleges and technical schools can now enhance and supplement their current entrepreneurship and small business management courses, create new courses, and develop seminars and workshops.
The fourth edition of PACE not only provides more information for entrepreneurs, but also provides the flexibility in the delivery of information, so individuals and institutions can obtain the specific information they need to be successful.
This edition was supported in part by a grant from OSU Extension and in partnership with OSU South Centers - Piketon. We hope that PACE will provide you with the understandings necessary to help you to achieve your entrepreneurship goals.
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