UMaine Extension Economist Helps Revise National Entrepreneurship Curriculum

Contact: George Manlove, (207) 581-3756

ORONO, Maine — A recently unveiled A-Z educational package for entrepreneurs and small- and micro-businesses, and those who work with them, will be explained in a 90-minute webinar scheduled for a global broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The home-based and micro-business training curriculum originally was created in the late 1990’s by a team of faculty members from universities across the country to aid Land Grant faculty, outreach entrepreneurship educators, economic development professionals and entrepreneurs. A similar national team revised the material during the last two years. Jim McConnon, University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist and professor of economics, served on the original team and the revisions team, which also extended the curriculum to the web.

The 20-chapter package, “Cashing in on Business Opportunities,” is freely available and covers everything a person would want or need to know about starting and growing a business enterprise. Topics range from technical and logistical business planning analysis and legal questions to practical concerns, including how to set a price for a product or service and avoiding familial conflicts when basing a business in the home, McConnon says.

“The curriculum targets educators and faculty across the U.S. and economic development professionals, and others who work to support micro and home-based business development in the U.S.,” he says.

There is no charge for any part of the guidebook and related educational and reference materials. Target audiences also include non-profit associations and others who support micro and home-based business owners in Maine, New England and the United States.

The curriculum, divided into four sections, is hosted by the Southern Rural Development Center in Mississippi. The guide and curriculum, along with downloadable PDF documents and PowerPoint presentations, is located on the web at, with additional details in an SRDC news release at

Those interested in participating in the free, interactive webinar Dec. 8, log onto 15 minutes before the program begins. The webinar is from 1-2:30 p.m. EST.

The revision team included Alan Barefield, Mississippi State University; Mike Best, Tennessee Tech University; Karen Biers, Utah State University; Rachael Carter, Mississippi State University, Hank Cothran, University of Florida; Jim McConnon, University of Maine; Glenn Muske, North Dakota State University; Katy Williams, Southern Rural Development Center; Kent Wolfe, University of Georgia; and Al Wysocki, University of Florida.