The Avista Center for Entrepreneurship program will give many ideas on starting, growing a business

CLARKSTON, WA - Leaders from Walla Walla Community College in Clarkston are getting ready to start up an entrepreneurship program and they're looking for people interested in expanding their business or starting one from the ground up.

This is the Avista's Center for Entrepreneurship program and it's specifically designed for people who are interested in learning more about marketing and business management.

At the end of the program students will have a business plan in hand, ready to present to a financial institution. It's a six month course, offered in the evenings. Jennifer DeJean is the instructor for this class and she said the students get a lot of hands-on experience.

"A really good thing about the program and what I think is the most significant part of it is the fact that we have guest lecturers that come in every single week, for the entire six months," said DeJean.

Wendie Kause is a guest lecturer. She said her goal is to focus on the value of leadership and customer service.

"Without good customer service you aren't going to have repeat business," said Kause. "Without good leadership you won't be able to retain your employees. So, my purpose and desire is to teach them before they start any bad habits."

The program first started in January and the first group of students graduated in June. Here's what they have to say about their experience.

"The Entrepreneurship program really pushes you to get started, take your idea to the next level, set a goal and get there," said Kit Brown. "What I took away is a lot of knowledge about things I didn't even know goes into starting a business."

"It was so much fun!" said Jon Davis. "I've been out of school for a long time so I thought going back to school was a scary thing, but this class was a lot of fun. It gives you so many ideas about how to grow your business, make a plan and how to make the operation work better."

This program was created with the hopes that it will help economic growth in the LC Valley, by allowing our business owners, or future business owners to start out on the right track.

"If you're interested in this program, if you have a business that you'd like to start, or maybe you're already running, but need some help, you should have this program in your back pocket," said Kit Brown.

"If you start your business strong and with good knowledge, your chances of becoming a good entrepreneur are much stronger," said Kause.

DeJean said it's fast and easy to apply, and there's no application fee.

The next class starts on September 22nd. There are scholarships and grants available for anyone who's interested.

For more information about this program, head to the KLEW Facebook page where you'll find a link to the program's website.