OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – If you have always dreamed of owning your own small business, a new training program is here to help.

Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma is launching its Small Business and E-Commerce certificate program on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The program is designed to teach participants with the skills needed to start a small business through creating a concept, business plan, and forming a marketing strategy.

The three-day program runs through Thursday, Feb. 9 at the Goodwill Headquarters in downtown Oklahoma City.

“At Goodwill, we pride ourselves in helping people overcome challenges to employment through the power of work,” Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma CEO Jim Priest said. “Only 25% of small businesses tend to succeed long-term, and we want to change that by offering a program where participants get the support they need to succeed as new entrepreneurs.” 

Organizers say the participants will learn whether their business idea has what it takes to succeed.

“During the height of the pandemic in 2020, only 63% of small businesses turned a profit. Of those that survived the impacts of the pandemic, 71% credit digitalization as a major reason for their resilience. That’s why program participants will also learn whether their business concept can successfully live online – something that is non-negotiable today,” Priest continued. 

The program is free and is limited to 10 participants per workshop. However, participants will need to submit a brief writing sample to ensure they have the minimum writing skills necessary.

“No one else in the Oklahoma City metro offers this kind of condensed workshop,” Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma Director of Training and Employment Services Amara Lett said. “To thrive as an economy and as a community, we must reinforce the education behind sustaining a successful business through Goodwill’s free and accessible courses.”

For more information or to enroll, contact Kimberly Conyer at kconyer@okgoodwill.org or call (405) 604-8916.