Co.Starters graduates second class

Published 9:50 am Thursday, July 14, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Co.Starters graduates and RBTC board members from L-R: Evelyn Smith, Sharonda Miller, Dr. Aliquippa Allen, Lynn Foster, Sid Rowser Jr., Charlene Rowser, Dr. Karen Braxton, LaShondra Cottrell, Barbara Raymond and Anita Evans.

Last Friday, July 8 saw the graduation of the second Co.Starters class sponsored by the RBTC (Rural Business Training Center). Classes lasted for 10 weeks where they learned skills and techniques on how to start a new business or grow an already existing business.

Co.Starters Core is a 10-week, cohort-based program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action. Over ten sessions, participants develop and fine-tune their ideas and leave the program with a deeper understanding of creating a sustainable venture.

Eight graduates received certificates: LaShondra Cottrell, Anita Evans, Lynn Foster, Sharonda Miller, Charlene Rowser, and Evelyn Smith. The other two graduates, Jonathan Marshall and Rhonda Watters were unable to attend.

Email newsletter signup

Demopolis Mayor Woody Collins praised the graduates for their hard work and their plans for the future.

“To have a vibrant community that is moving forward, you must have a vibrant business community. If there were no businesses there would be no jobs and no taxes paid for the services from the city,” said Collins. “I commended each of you for wanting to be a part of that. Whether we like it or not, businesses are always changing and you are the future. You’re the next generation.”

The main speaker for the event was CEO of Co.Starters Jose Alfaro who attended via ZOOM. Alfaro said Co.Starters began by trying to find easier ways of getting information to those who wanted to start a business. He stressed that no one can build a business alone and that “having interaction with peers” is the most important aspect of training.

“Graduation doesn’t mean those relationships end. You are the ones who make Demopolis unique,” said Alfaro. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

The next Co.Starters program begins on Sept. 12 and runs through Nov, 14 for $250.