SRU SEA readies Slippery Rock outreach
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, which offers help in establishing new businesses and growing existing businesses, will move closer to potential clients March 8 when it opens a new office at 164 S. Main St.
"We will be hosting an open house to showcase our new facility from 4:30-8:30 p.m. The open house will give those business operators already in the downtown, and those thinking of setting up a business, a chance to talk with our staff, including key University faculty," said John Golden, instructor in SRU's School of Business and SEA director of projects and outreach.
"We really want to partner our faculty and students with existing and new businesses that will help the community grow," he said.
"By locating downtown, we think more business owners and would-be entrepreneurs will just stop in from time-to-time to offer ideas, pick our brains for tips or just kick around potential ideas for increasing business opportunities in the downtown and in the region," Golden said.
He said those involved in the SEA Office will be able to steer entrepreneurs to faculty and staff who may be able to aid in business development. "We really want to help those with new business ideas succeed, but who may need help in developing a business plan, finding others interested in investing or just expanding their ideas in a full-fledged business operation," Golden said.
He said he and his staff are available for sustainable business consulting and are working with businesses throughout western Pennsylvania region in spurring economic development and creating jobs that will put money back in the community.
Golden said he already has an appointment with a businesswoman looking at purchasing an existing business, but needs a business plan to present to investors. "We are also already working in Clarion, Butler, Lawrence and Allegheny counties," Golden said.
Other SRU faculty members are offering services related to their classes that would allow students to handle such projects as business consulting, developing content and advertising Web pages as well as handling social media connections such as Facebook.
The SEA is also working with the Slippery Rock Rotary International's "Slippery Rock In Bloom," which is part of the national "America In Bloom" project.
The endeavor includes beautifying the downtown as a way of drawing customers to the community. "Last fall they planted more than 5,000 tulips. And we are working with downtown businesses on a survey that will help them benchmark certain business aspects so they can better track growth and expansion, including job counts," Golden said.
The SEA is also involved with a potential township/borough recycling effort, he said.