Entrepreneurs Experience Starting A Business in Daemen Program

April 11, 2014

Media Contact

Paula Witherell
Director of Institutional Communication
Daemen College
(716) 839-8472

Central Terminal Entrepreneurs Student Assistants-Daemen students who assisted with the program,
(L-R) Tashi Lawrence, Gino Cammileri and Elaina Dickson.

AMHERST, N.Y. -- Several aspiring Buffalo entrepreneurs had a chance to experience and learn about starting a small business, from catering and cafes to home health care, through a unique program offered by the Daemen College Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement.

The eight-week Central Terminal Entrepreneurs business program consisted of modules that covered business plans, marketing, bookkeeping, and legal aspects. Mentors worked with the 18 adult entrepreneurs, ranging in age from 22-60, throughout the business start-up process with the goal of turning their efforts into actual Fillmore area businesses.

“One of our community partners suggested this business program for entrepreneurs as a way to grow small businesses for the Fillmore Avenue business district,” said Dr. Sharon Benz, director of the Daemen CSCCE, which oversaw the program. “The entrepreneurs were a great group to work with and extremely enthusiastic, attentive and appreciative of Daemen's commitment to the community."

Business interests varied from a bed and breakfast, small retail businesses, home health care, selling textiles online, catering and cafes, and event planning. The program kicked off Feb. 4 and wrapped up with a March 25 celebration dinner prepared by entrepreneur Jennifer Boyd and centerpieces designed by fellow entrepreneur Justine Harris.

Participants were awarded certificates of completion by Benz and Rita Gay, member of the Fillmore Corridor Neighborhood Coalition, which has a partnership with Daemen.

Daemen faculty who shared their expertise as module instructors were Brian Gwitt, J.D., adjunct professor of business and corporate law; Dr. Linda Kuechler, professor of accounting and information systems; Bridget Niland, J.D., associate professor of business administration; Luiz Pereira, associate professor of marketing; and Pauline Soeffing, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship.

Mentors included Cheryl Bird, executive director of the CSCCE  and former human resources business owner, service businesses mentor; Cathaleen Curtis, former photo-journalist and Daemen entrepreneurship program coordinator; Tyra Johnson, Blue Sky Design and Daemen instructor, retail businesses mentor; Richard Mills, former chair of the Erie Community College Culinary Arts Department, food businesses mentor; and Enid Wright, former art import business and retired Buffalo Public School counselor, retail businesses mentor.

Assisting with the program were Daemen students Gino Cammileri of Gates, Elaina Dickson of Batavia, and Tashi Lawrence of Brooklyn.

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