Entrepreneurial educator looks for public support
Faced with government cutbacks, business turns to crowdfunding to pull investment dollars
A school in Sudbury for adults who want to start their own business is struggling to balance the books after government cuts.
The Learning Initiative, a privately run school and human resource centre that teaches people how to get work in the business community, depends on government funding to stay open.
But now the school must look elsewhere for money.
Its owner — Anne Cooper, who started the centre 17 years ago after being laid off — is turning to her entrepreneurial roots to find the funding she needs.
Cooper has made a short video and posted it online to ask for donations to her business.
One of the people featured in the video is Stanley Ball, who was helped by Learning Inititiative to start his own business after losing his job as a pastor.
"It was incredibly useful," he said.
"For me, personally, it gave me a whole lot of confidence."
So far, Cooper has raised $4,000 of the $60,000 she needs to continue helping people like Ball.
She started the business with the idea that she could use her teaching skills to help others who want to become entrepreneurs.
"The buzz or the energy of working with people that wanted to learn about business was really exciting to me," she said.
Cooper noted most of her students stay in business after they graduate from the year-long program and they contribute to Sudbury's economy.
It’s a reality she hopes others will appreciate as worthwhile — and she’s hopeful for public support.
"Locally, we do make a difference to this community and the economy," Cooper said.
"People that come to the school ... have a better chance of success."