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St. Pete Chamber of Commerce's Entrepreneurial Academy teaches businesses how to thrive, survive

Entrepreneurial Academy kicks off Monday
The Greenhouse in St. Pete.
Posted at 1:09 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 19:16:45-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Entrepreneurial Academy at the Greenhouse in St. Pete isn't a new program. But, COVID-19 is giving the skills students learn during the ten-week program new meaning.

The Greenhouse in St. Pete is run by the chamber of commerce to give small businesses the resources and tools they need to be prosperous.

"We are literally the front door for all things small business in St Petersburg," Kim Vogel, Co-Manager of the Greenhouse said. "We are here to help businesses start, to grow, and to thrive. We are bringing in the best and the brightest from the community of St Petersburg and making sure that these people have the resources they need to be a successful business."

Because of COVID-19, both cohorts this year have been virtual. The last class to attend the seminar was in the Fall of 2019. But, Vogel said businesses still have to be creative in how they market themselves.

"Networking is the key, and networking is possible virtually too, and we are watching it happen very successfully," Vogel said. "We have to continue to support local right, and I do believe that our small businesses are struggling, but there is so much hope that these small businesses have, and this is, I think, is the beauty of entrepreneurship."

The 10-week program starts Monday, Sept. 14. For the following 10 Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m., students will be attending the business training virtually. Once the course is completed, Vogel said students would also receive a 1-year "startup" membership to the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

The cost is $399, and there are still spots available.

"There are so many amazing business ideas out there, but sometimes people don't know exactly how to go about getting there," Vogel said. "When we can help businesses set goals when we can help them see what their overall strategy has the potential to look like we know, we can help them be successful."