Category: local business

Sierra Commons Executive Director Robert Trent will moderate a panel discussion this Friday, September 14th at the Miner's Foundry.  The title of the panel is "Micro-enterprise and Economic Resilience in Nevada County" and include panelists Steve Frisch – President Sierra Business Council, Machen MacDonald – Founder ProBrilliance Leadership Institute, and Brent Smith- CEO SEDCorp

The panel will discuss the importance of small business and micro-enterprise to our local economy.  Other panels will cover building wealth with a focus on the construction sector, moderated by the Nevada County Contractors Association,  and ERC's strategic planning progress, moderated by Jon Blinder of th Nevada County Economic Resource Council.

Elected county officials are the primary audience for the event. The meeting is open to the public and all interested parties are encouraged to attend.

The overall theme of the joint meeting is intra-county exchange of goods and services and how to improve our local goods and services to support local vendors and service providers.

See the agenda below for more details.

Joint Meeting of the Cities of Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee and County of Nevada

September 14, 2012 – Miner’s Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA

“Enhancing the Economic Climate Within Nevada County”

1:15 -1:30  Call to Order for City Councils and Board of Supervisors (Duane Strawser, Mayor Nevada City)

  • Welcome to Nevada City – Nevada City Mayor Duane Strawser

1:30-2:10 Panel:  “Micro-enterprise and Economic Resilience in Nevada County” (Robert Trent, Executive Director, Sierra Commons)

  • Machen MacDonald, Sierra Commons Faculty
  • Steve Frisch, Sierra Nevada Business Council
  • Brent Smith, Sierra Economic Development Corp (SEDCorp)
  • Questions

2:10- 2:40 – Discussion

2:40- 3:10  Panel : “Building Wealth”  Nevada County Contractors Association

  • Ray Byars Jr., Byars’ Leafguard Gutter Systems
  • Keoni Allen, Sierra Foothills Construction
  • Questions

3:10 – 3:30 – Discussion

3:30- 4:15  Panel: “Strategic Planning and Survey Results”(Jon Blinder, Executive Director, ERC)

  • Judy Hess, Truckee River Bank – “Financing for Commercial Ventures
  • Lynn Wilson, Pilot Peak Winery – “ Tourism/Marketing Committee Update”
  • Jennifer Westoby, Adecco – “ Labor and Training in Nevada County”
  • Dale Creighton, SCO Engineering – “Government Regulation and Policies”
  • Robert Bergman, Nevada City Council – “ Internet/Broadband Update”
  • Questions

4:15 – Discussion

4:45 – Opportunity for Public Comment

5:00 – Close of Meeting (Mayor Duane Strawser)

Sierra Commons, Nevada County's business ignitor, is presenting a six-week course to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams of launching and growing their business. More than a business plan workshop, the course brings together a group of motivated entrepreneurs, and guides them through all of the steps needed to create a thriving enterprise. The approach is action-based and covers topics including business planning, market analysis, marketing strategies, finance, budgeting, web, business law and more. Course faculty are seasoned professionals who teach weekly classes, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to each topic. Students also meet with mentors for special one-to-one sessions and group discussions.

Building on the success of previous Buinsess Ignitor Courses, the curriculum has been refined and Sierra Commons is providing an additional three months of free membership to top performing graduates. Sierra Commons will continue mentoring and housing these graduates to further increase their business success rate.

Sierra Commons graduates are currently running some of Nevada County’s most exciting new product and service businesses. “I’ve wanted to start my own business for some time now and the classes provided me both the impetus I needed to move forward and a foundational knowledge of business structure, financials, and sales/marketing,” states Matt Vanderpol, owner of qatab.com and recent Ignitor graduate. “I heartily recommend the course to anyone who has an idea for a small business but needs more information or an extra push to get him or her started.”

Space is limited to 15 participants.

To learn more about the course and complete an application go to www.sierracommons.org/ignitor. Deadline for applications is October 12th. Sierra Commons is providing an opportunity to meet instructors and potential classmates on Tuesday, September 25th, from noon to 2:00pm at Sierra Commons.

Check out a partial list of Ignitor graduates.  You could be next!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Robert Trent, info@sierracommons.org  (530) 265-8443

June 5, 2011

Nevada City, CA – This July, Sierra Commons, Nevada County's business ignitor, is presenting a six-week course to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams of launching and growing their business. More than a business plan workshop, the course brings together a group of motivated entrepreneurs, and guides them through all of the steps needed to create a thriving enterprise.

The approach is action-based and covers topics including business planning, market analysis, marketing strategies, finance, budgeting, web, business law and more.  Course faculty are seasoned professionals who teach weekly classes, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to each topic.  Students also meet with mentors for special one-to-one sessions and group discussions.

Building on the success of three previous Buinsess Ignitor Courses, the curriculum has been refined and Sierra Commons is providing an additional three months of free membership to top performing graduates.  Sierra Commons will continue mentoring and housing these graduates to further increase their business success rate.  Evening classes are also new to this upcoming sessions, allowing working entrepreneurs to participate while still holding onto their day jobs.

To date, Sierra Commons has thirty-nine graduates – many currently running some of Nevada County’s most exciting new product and service businesses.

I’ve wanted to start my own business for some time now and the classes provided me both the impetus I needed to move forward and a foundational knowledge of business structure, financials, and sales/marketing,” states Matt Vanderpol, owner of qatab.com and recent Ignitor graduate. “I heartily recommend the course to anyone who has an idea for a small business but needs more information or an extra push to get him or her started.

Space is limited to 15 participants.  To learn more about the course and complete an application go to www.sierracommons.org/ignitor.  Deadline for applications is July 2nd.

Sierra Commons is providing an opportunity to meet instructors and potential classmates on Tuesday, June 26th , from noon to 1:30pm at Sierra Commons.

About Sierra Commons: Sierra Commons is a non-profit organization focused on creating jobs within western Nevada County, California. We develop and implement education and training programs designed to meet the needs of new, emerging, and struggling business owners and nonprofit organizations. Through affordable memberships, Sierra Commons hosts a variety of small businesses at its downtown Nevada City office.

————————————-

Want to take your business to a new level?

The NEC SBDC Greater Sacramento/Sierra, Hewlett Packard and US Bank have 
partnered  to offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to existing and emerging  
businesses in our region. HP designed an innovative series of workshops 
- the HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs - using technology that 
anyone can use at little or no cost. Workshop participants will learn 
to use the many software tools, which increases and enhances day-to-day 
business skills. HP employees will conduct all classes in the 
newly-established, state-of-the-art HP LIFE Lab at the SBDC Sacramento 
location. US Bank offers scholarships to qualified participants. 
Visit www.sbdc.net for more information.  

Looking for financial assistance? Check out the HP LIFE Scholarship 
Program @ www.sbdc.net

 JUNE & JULY 2012 WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

 LEVEL II - START WORKSHOPS:

START is the second level in the HP LIFE program and is designed for 
entrepreneurs in the start-up phase of business. Individuals new to 
the world of business ownership understand the learning curve for you 
is the highest in the first three to five years. This series of workshops 
will help you develop basic information and communications technology 
skills so you can run your company as effectively and efficiently as 
possible from the very beginning. The START level is equally applicable 
to more established micro-enterprise owners who have considerable business 
experience but who are not in the habit of using information and 
communication technologies to manage and run their company.

The five workshops offered in this series target the concepts of marketing, 
operations, communications, and finance. It is not mandatory to take 
workshops in the IMAGINE/PLAN series before taking classes in the START 
series; however, it is recommended.   

Print Marketing:  June 6, 2012        
Website Management:  June 13, 2012
Contacts, Scheduling, and Email:  June 20, 2012
Presentations:  June 27, 2012
Invoices and Expense Tracking:  July 11, 2012

 PRICE:   $40 per workshop or $175 per series ($25 discount)  

 GO TO WWW.SBDC.NET TO REGISTER!

All workshops will be held at:
1410 Ethan Way, Sacramento, CA  95825  1pm-4pm

In sponosrship with:

HEWLETT PACKARD, US BANK, SBA & LOS RIOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT

See Jane Do and Sierra Commons Present:

Monthly Networking Group for Women Entrepreneurs

Topic of the Month: 

Movement Marketing

with Sam Hinrichs of Mud & Pearls

     Samantha Hinrichs

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 

12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. PDT

Free to See Jane Do or Sierra Commons Members

non-members $10.00

 

Women entrepreneurs are changing the world and See Jane Do, in conjunction with Sierra Commons, will be hosting a monthly women’s networking group to facilitate the momentum.

On May 31st our topic will be Movement Marketing, presented by Sam Hinrichs of Mud and Pearls. Movement marketing takes your passions and aligns them with others who feel the same – which in turn elevates your business.  It’s the wildest revolution marketing has seen since television, and if you attend this meeting, you’ll already be a part of it!

 

See Jane Do Business. See us change the world. 

Sign up today!  Drop-ins welcome.  Space is limited

Not a member of See Jane Do? 

Click here to join today!

 

Where: Sierra Commons, 107 Sacramento St. #300, Nevada City, CA

Optional Tele-Conference: (619) 326-2700 #421-3436
When: May 31st (last Thursdays of the month)
Time: 12:00 pm-1:30 pm

Bring:  Lunch or item to share if you’d like

Cost:  See Jane Do & Sierra Commons members (free), non-members $10

ABOUT SAM: Samantha Hinrichs built her own straw bale home, ran a cultural center, and has been producing events since she was 12. She loves to teach others how to make beautiful, sustainable projects. In 2011 Sam opened Mud and Pearls, where she is able to tie together the resources she has gathered over the years. Mud and Pearls presents workshops, demonstrations and class time so that you can look good doing it. Contact her at http://www.mudandpearls.com

ABOUT SIERRA COMMONS:  Sierra Commons

is a non-profit small business education and incubation organization in Nevada County, California. We blog about business education opportunities, our member businesses, and the economic development scene.

Ignitor 3.0 Grads Include:

Accordion Legal, Erin Noel, Attorney at Law?e
enoel@nccn.net
Provider of community legal services focused on giving people access to knowledge and power usually reserved for lawyers and politicians.

Creative Learning Adventures, Greg Zaller
?lwco.org ?
Changing the world with self sufficient educational empowerment communities.

Edamame Catering & Gourmet Food Productions, Ariana Goldschneider
ariana@edamamecatering.com
Gourmet vegan catering.

Elan Light, Tim Murray
elanlight.com
Unique, one-of-a-kind works of art that utilize different forms, shapes and materials.

Heart and Soul Farms, Monica Senter
facebook.com/HeartAndSoulFarms
Customized CSA’s for local food and herb providers. Our products are all organic: vegetables, medicinal herbs and mushrooms.

Humanity Games, John O’Neill
Gamewhys.com
Teaching without preaching and Learning without listening.

O+F Vocational Training Service, ?Oscar Innocenti
Oscar.innocenti.sc@gmail.com
A Swiss agency, which organizes academic, cultural and social camps in Switzerland and Italy.

PowerStructures, Rob Katzenstein
power-structures.com
We design and build Custom Photovoltaic Structures to provide power, water and shade.

Purple Lotus Coaching, Patricia Johnston
?purplelotuscoaching.com
A grief and loss coaching service focused on helping clients release the pain of grief and guilt, find peace, passion, and purpose, and create a new normal after loss.

ShiroBliss LLC, Rick Sanger
ShiroBliss.com
Creator of a beautiful and fully automated shirodhara machine that is easy to use and blissful to experience.

When: May 10th

Time: 4:00-6:00pm

Where: Silver Springs Wood Shop 140 Park Avenue Grass Valley, CA

Everybody loves a bargain, and what could be a better bargain than buying moderately priced handcrafted home decor and helping local at-risk youth? On May 10th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM the public will have an opportunity to buy handcrafted wood products made from recycled wood at a showcase and sale held by the Silver Springs High School woodshop. The showcase at the school on School Alley off South Auburn St. in Grass Valley offers a win for everybody. Buyers get beautiful wood items, and students develop valuable life skills, including craft skills, business knowledge, and a strong work ethic.

The public is invited to support the program by buying items at the sale or by donating used wood for future projects. For more information about the event or to donate, call Mike Pettengill at 272-2635 Ext: 327.

Buy Home Decor, Support Local Students

Mr. Mike Pettengill, the Silver Springs Woodshop teacher, uses a unique approach to teaching woodshop classes. Pettengill grew up in his father’s handmade furniture business and later became an architectural design and woodshop teacher. Out of his experiences, he created a woodshop class that brings a real world business approach into the classroom. He says, “The premise is not to do the traditional woodshop but to make and sell products that consumers can use.”

Pettengill works with local businesses to produce items that they can sell in their stores. For one local business, his student crew created butcher block cutting boards. For a wine business, they turned wine barrels into glass racks, tables, and accessories. For yet another in the olive oil business, the class used rounds of raw olive wood to make gorgeous hand-rubbed gift boxes to hold bottles of fine olive oil.

Using all recycled wood and an eco-conscious approach, Pettengill runs the program without buying materials. The students reclaim wood from pallets and other castoff wood sources and turn it into clever products, such as Adirondack chairs, candle holders, wind chimes, planter boxes, and more. Pettengill notes that creativity is a big part of what they do together: “I work more like a foreman and mentor of a crew than as a teacher. The students come up with the ideas as a team.”

The program’s innovative curriculum stems not only from Pettengill’s creativity but also from the three-way partnership between the school district, the local One-Stop Business and Career Center, and Sierra Commons, a local non-profit supporter of startup businesses. Together, they have designed a unique program tailored to the needs of this particular student group.

The One-Stop, through its parent organization, the Nortec Workforce Investment Board, provides partial funding for the program. Nicola Murphy, the Career Development Consultant who manages the One-Stop Youth Program, works closely with students to help them improve attendance and productivity and to reach graduation goals. According to Pettengill, “Nicola Murphy has put in lots of hours counseling and helping students with job preparedness. She has been a wonderful asset to our program.”

To build his students’ business knowledge, Pettengill partners with Sierra Commons, a local nonprofit supporter of startup businesses. Robert Trent, Executive Director of Sierra Commons, teaches the students how to operate their wood products business, covering topics in Mission and Vision, Marketing, Branding, Finance, Operations, Value Proposition, and Target Markets.

Trent sees the collaboration as an excellent opportunity for the students to learn how a real business works from initial planning through daily operation. According to Trent, “The woodshop students really shine. They seem to be in their element when they are designing and manufacturing products. They are building a solid foundation for what it means to be an entrepreneur and what it takes to run a business.”

Pettengill and his partners modeled the program after The Bicycle Recycle Project at Seven Hills School in Nevada City, which has trained more than 1500 students to rebuild used bicycles. They hope to replicate the exceptional success of that program and train a new generation of successful craft business people.

Seeing the students work and talking to them about the program makes clear how much they enjoy and appreciate what they are learning. Dakota Scarbrough, one of the newer students in the class, says, “The class helps me learn to concentrate and follow a project all the way through to completion.” He also mentioned how much he likes the teamwork and looks forward to ending his day with woodshop. “I’m proud of my chair,” he says. “We put some of it together as a team, and the finish work is mine; I’m gonna make it look good.

Another student, Chris Nix, has been part of the team since January, creating a variety of products, including wind chimes, wine racks, and tables. He says, “I like the idea that we’re recycling. We can take anything that might be thrown away and make good stuff. I like that we can come up with our own designs and use our imagination.” Nix further shared, “My goal in life is to have my own auto shop, so learning how to run a business will help me in the future.”

The public is invited to support the program by buying items at the sale or by donating used wood for future projects. For more information about the event or to donate, call Mike Pettengill at 272-2635 Ext: 327.

 

10 New Businesses Launched!

A Celebration of Entrepreneurship

May 3rd, 2pm-6pm

~ Demos, Games & Food ~


IGNITOR GRADUATES

Meet our most recent Ignitor graduates and Nevada County’s newest small business owners:

Accordion Legal, Erin Noel, Attorney at Law?e
enoel@nccn.net
Provider of community legal services focused on giving people access to knowledge and power usually reserved for lawyers and politicians.

Creative Learning Adventures, Greg Zaller
?lwco.org ?
Changing the world with self sufficient educational empowerment communities.

Edamame Catering & Gourmet Food Productions, Ariana Goldschneider
ariana@edamamecatering.com
Gourmet vegan catering.

Elan Light, Tim Murray
elanlight.com
Unique, one-of-a-kind works of art that utilize different forms, shapes and materials.

Heart and Soul Farms, Monica Senter
facebook.com/HeartAndSoulFarms
Customized CSA’s for local food and herb providers. Our products are all organic: vegetables, medicinal herbs and mushrooms.

Humanity Games, John O’Neill
Gamewhys.com
Teaching without preaching and Learning without listening.

O+F Vocational Training Service, ?Oscar Innocenti
Oscar.innocenti.sc@gmail.com
A Swiss agency, which organizes academic, cultural and social camps in Switzerland and Italy.

PowerStructures, Rob Katzenstein
power-structures.com
We design and build Custom Photovoltaic Structures to provide power, water and shade.

Purple Lotus Coaching, Patricia Johnston
?purplelotuscoaching.com
A grief and loss coaching service focused on helping clients release the pain of grief and guilt, find peace, passion, and purpose, and create a new normal after loss.

ShiroBliss LLC, Rick Sanger
ShiroBliss.com
Creator of a beautiful and fully automated shirodhara machine that is easy to use and blissful to experience.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR BUSINESS IGNITOR FACULTY.

Rosalie Brown, Smart Think Marketing Group, Michael Freedman, Right-Click Business Services, Brian Gillings, BG Business Consulting, Machen McDonald, ProBrilliance Leadership Institute, Rosemary Metrailer, Attorney at Law, Judy Nichols, Certified Public Accountant, Coryon Redd, coryon.com, Ruth Schwartz, High Performance Advocates, Doug Summers, Robertson, Woodford & Summers, LLC

 

Community welcome, free of charge to attend

107 Sacramento Street, Suite 300 Nevada City, CA 95959

 

Be a part of the movement.  Signup for the next Business Ignitor Course starting July 11th, 2012.

By Mike Mooers, Wicked Good Copy and Communications

(The following is based on a true story.)

7:30 AM: Today I am going to really crank, really put my head down and get to work. I’ve lost some traction – been wearing the same clothes for, what, three days?

Must be three days – that was the last time I took a shower.

I think.

Coffee first.

8:30 AM: Now, today I focus. Took a shower, shaved and put on some clean clothes. Nice clothes – shirt with a collar, khakis – professional, yet casual.

9:00 AM: Grab another cup of coffee and it’s go time.

But while it’s brewing maybe I’ll do these dishes.

11:00 AM: Whoa – it’s eleven already?

11:05 AM: Okay. Refresh the email and…nothing yet.

Maybe I should reach out to some folks. Nurture the clients, get some real work rolling.

But folks are in that lunch mode – distracted. I’ll wait a bit.

And I should pull some Scotch broom while the ground’s kind of soft from that rain.

Mike Mooers3:00 PM: Getting kind of late, East Coasters are home for the day, I’ll do my emails tomorrow.

This was me. Totally.

Then I discovered Sierra Commons.

Sierra Commons gave me the tools to launch my business. And they give me the tools to help it grow and thrive. I’m writing so much that I’m wearing holes in my keyboard. Really.

But here’s the big deal – I am out of the house, dressed, showered and at my desk and working.

No dishes, no laundry, no Scotch broom – just a professional, productive work environment.

Professional. Productive.

Sure there are great tools – high-speed internet, fax and copy machine, a private desk, absence of dishes and Scotch broom – but it’s the intangibles that elevate this place:

Peer mentoring.
Collaborative energy.
Professional atmosphere.
Entrepreneurial spirit.
Creativity.
Focus.
Teamwork.

If you have a business – or an idea for one – this is the place to be, the place to ignite it. It won’t happen at home.

Not like it will here: sierracommons.org

– Mike Mooers, Copywriter, Sierra Commons Devotee