Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Free Webinar on Starting a Micro-loan program

See the details below for the Fall’s webinars from the national eXtension “Entrepreneurs and Their Communities” Community of Practice. This month’s theme is micro-loan programs, while Nov will focus on social networking and local development, and Dec’s webinar will discuss food safety for processors. All webinars are free!

October Webinar - Establishing a Microenterprise Lending Program

Contact: Mary Peabody, Email:

Mark your calendars! The eXtension Entrepreneurship webinar continues Thursday, October 11, 2012. All webinars will air monthly on the second Thursday at 2:00pm (ET); 1:00pm (CT); 12:00pm (MT); 11:00am (PT) at

On Thursday, October 11, 2012 we host a presentation on Establishing a Collaborative Microenterprise Lending Program with Nancy Bowen, OSU Extension and Julie Miller, Wright State University Business Enterprise Center.  Has your community been considering a micro-lending program? For a microenterprise development program to be successful, there must be both access to capital and technical assistance.  The presentation will be a "how to" on development of a micro-lending program that helps to level the playing field for entry into business ownership while strengthening rural economies.  The session will discuss the nuts and bolts of starting and sustaining a program, and anticipated results. 

In November 8 our webinar will explore how social networking can promote local economies. Casey Hoy, Professor and Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management at The Ohio State University will be our presenter this month for . Agriculture in its many forms still accounts for approximately one third of the Ohio economy.  Healthy agroecosystems, however, require a number of connections, or reconnections, of farms with: people and communities, economic opportunities, biodiversity, healthy soils.  Through various grants, the Agroecosystems Management Program of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center is developing social networking tools to build local economies starting with food systems but also the advanced energy and renewable bioproducts that come from agriculture.  This presentation will describe our work in connecting entrepreneurs along supply chains leading to collaborative business networks that improve agroecosystem health.

On December 13 we will host a session on Best Practices in Food Safety for Processors. Londa Nwadike, UVM Extension Food Safety Specialist, will be our presenter as we explore common regulatory issues and safe food handling requirements. Geared to new producers and those considering a food processing business, this presentation will provide information on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which are the basic sanitary and processing requirements necessary to ensure the production of safe and wholesome food. They are a key pre-requisite for HACCP programs and are essential to meeting FDA and USDA food safety requirements.

No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate. About 10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at You will be presented with a login screen that has an "Enter as Guest" option. Enter your full name then click "Enter Room" to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer’s speakers.

Newcomers to online learning are welcome!

Mary Peabody, UVM Extension Specialist, Community & Economic Development 
Associate Director, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development 
617 Comstock Road, Suite 5
Berlin, VT  05602-9194
Phone:  802-223-2389 extension 202
or tollfree: 866-860-1382 extension 202
Fax:    802-223-6500
Check out the Women's Ag Network blog
Commitment to our rural communities

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