• October 1, 2014

Military spouses receive tips about launching a business

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Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 4:30 am | Updated: 8:22 pm, Tue Sep 11, 2012.

Amber Shannon Barbosa, of Killeen, didn’t get to pursue her dream of being an anthropologist.

“Because I’m an Army wife, I didn’t get to have my career,” she said. “(Starting a business) is my plan B.”

Shannon Barbosa was among about 30 military spouses who attended a workshop Monday to empower them to start their own businesses.

The weeklong workshop, a partnership between Central Texas College’s Students in Free Enterprise team, Fort Hood Army Community Service and the Central Texas Business Resource Center, focuses on creating businesses that are easily transferable.

Janet White, of Fort Hood, hopes to open a food truck that offers Asian food, snacks and sandwiches.

White, who worked at a restaurant while her husband was stationed at Okinawa, Japan, attended the workshop to find sources of financial support for her business endeavor.

“You have all the determination, you have all the skills, but still, you’re out of money,” she said.

Marcus Carr, director of the Central Texas Business Resource Center and an instructor during the workshop, helps people who want to start and run their own businesses through confidential counseling.

One common reason businesses fail is because owners don’t have a well-developed plan. Carr’s biggest advice for prospective business owners is to be prepared.

“Planning helps with preparation,” he said. “It forces you to think through every aspect of how you’re going to set up and run your business and make it successful.”

Shannon Barbosa has always been interested in entrepreneurship, but said she realized during the workshop how unprepared she was to start her business selling handmade toys.

“(The workshop) has been eye-opening, but not in a scary way,” she said. “Now I know what the next step is.”

Even though she may have to move when her husband is reassigned, her career can go with her. “It’s something I can travel with, instead of having to travel to.”

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