Potential business owners learned from veteran proprietors and subject matter experts at a Central Texas Business Resource Center summit Wednesday.
“A lot of times new business owners don’t know what they don’t know until they ask,” said Aimee Nesse, a resource center business counselor.
The summit allowed 40 would-be entrepreneurs to network, discuss services and learn from various business professionals.
Attendees received information from marketing experts, attorneys, accountants and successful startup proprietors.
“It’s very enlightening and (gave) us information,” said Frances Hampton, 44, of Killeen. “It gives me hope.”
Hampton is planning to open a boutique after she was laid off from Sprint in Temple.
“I’m in the beginning stages of starting my business,” she said. “I’ve been looking for information about loans, banking and insurance. All of that is here.”
Mary Smith, 48, of Killeen, who also was let go from Sprint, has a dream of doing something she loves to do — cooking.
Hoping to operate a food truck, the summit provided Smith with resources and contacts she may need to move the business forward, Smith said.
Some experienced business owners such as Patrice Pruitt, owner of Mama’s Soul catering and concessions service since 2005, attended the summit to continue their entrepreneurial education.
“It gives you a chance to see what you may or may not be doing to grow your business,” Pruitt said. “The summit is always helpful.”
Many of the prospective entrepreneurs at the summit have started working with the resource center to research their businesses, Nesse said. The summit gives them a chance to gain additional information from experts without putting them in a “I need your services situation,” all in one location.
“It is wonderful to have this opportunity for mentorship,” Nesse said. “Each presenter is geared toward mentorship ... a lot of people have the concepts and they just need to bounce ideas off people. (The summit) is almost the Big Brother Big Sister program of business.”