N.J. gets FastTrac location, through partnership

The Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship in Chatham has partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, an internationally renowned funder of entrepreneurial educational research, to offer its FastTrac GrowthVenture program at the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“FastTrac courses not only help aspiring and established entrepreneurs uncover answers, they also help individuals determine the right questions to ask,” Michele Markey, vice president of Kauffman FastTrac, the global provider of the foundation’s learning curricula, said. “FastTrac training allows you to save time and money by testing the feasibility of your business growth concepts before you act.”

Over the past 20 years, FastTrac courses and workshops have helped more than 350,000 entrepreneurs assess their ideas and grow their businesses.

The Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship in Chatham currently is the only FastTrac affiliate in New Jersey.

“I discovered this course while attending the Association of Women’s Business Centers annual conference two years ago,” Rana Shanawani, executive director of the Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship, said. “It was being met with great success by other women’s business centers across the country because, given that certified facilitators must be trained and on-site to teach it, the quality control and curriculum is gold-star.”

According to Shanawani, interested applicants must be interviewed and approved to attend the course, beginning in March.

“This course is only for existing, established entrepreneurs who are moving past the startup stages of their business,” she said.

The 30-hour course will be held in three-hour sessions, once a week for 10 weeks, at the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce. Each week will focus on topics such as market research, competitive advantage and pricing, financial planning and budgeting, branding and sales, public relations, defining operational systems and workflows, networking and more.

Early-bird pricing through the beginning of February is $390, while regular pricing is $450.

The Ann Cohen Entrepreneurship Fund, in memory of Ann Cohen (nee Bryce) — the late co-owner of Toys in the Attic in Montclair and an active participant of the Montclair Economic Development Corp. and Business Improvement District — has been established to help cover the costs of attendance for scholarship recipients.