Budding small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs have another option for jump-starting their vision of a thriving enterprise and successful self-employment in the soon-to-open Entrepreneur Training Institute (ETI).

Beverly H. Anderson (Photo: Karanja A. Ajanaku)

Founder and director Beverly H. Anderson will open ETI’s doors for the first time on January 7. She will be hosting classes to teach students how to market their skills, how to look for and take advantage of new opportunities for their businesses, and how to avoid the pitfalls of business tax issues and financial management.

Anderson is a case study of resourcefulness and self-reliance.

“I learned so much from my grandfather,” said Anderson. “He and my grandmother raised us to be that way, my brothers and I. We were always told that if we could not find a job, simply make one.

“My grandfather lived that personal creed his whole life. He had a farm that he and my brothers worked, but we lived in the city.”

Her grandfather taught shop classes at the high school in Lexington, Miss., where the family lived.

“The boys that took shop from him built our house. Upstairs was like one whole house, and downstairs was a full house, too. When he passed, he had acquired about 30 acres we didn’t know about. Every Christmas, he sold one of his cows and that was our Christmas money. I learned how to be resourceful by example.”

ETI is a natural fit for Anderson.

The institute is a program of the Home-Based Business Chamber of Commerce. It will offer video certification and online classes in small business management, personal income tax preparation and non-profit development.

On-the-ground training also is available at a designated site in the Shelby County metro area. Courses are offered quarterly and taught by industry professionals. CEUs (continuing education units) are also available.

The first session opens January 7 and ends March 15.

Lisa M. McNulty (Courtesy photo)

Lisa M. McNulty, president of the DeSoto County Branch Home-Based Business Chamber of Commerce, cites the importance of home-based and small businesses.

“President Obama said that the nation would be in financial trouble if it were not for home-based and small business people,” said McNulty. “He noted that they keep an undercurrent of cash flow going. They get their supplies and products to run their businesses from retailers like Walmart and Cosco’s.

“In an uncertain economy, home-based and small business ownership has grown tremendously,” McNulty said.

“We want to help increase the value of entrepreneurship by offering classes to those who are already in business as well as those who aspire to be.”

Direct sales, such as Avon, Mary Kay and Paparazzi Jewelry have exploded in popularity as viable business opportunities, according to McNulty. People do very well working with those companies full-time.

“In an economic climate of downsizing, unemployment, underemployment and unemployability, many people turn to the prospect of self-employment,” said Anderson.

“The Entrepreneur Training Institute provides a level of credibility by offering certifications to entrepreneurs, which will prove valuable to potential customers.”

(For more information and registration, call ETI at 901-498-7675. Visit www.myetinstitute.org.)