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The University of Pittsburgh will be coming to Washington County to help entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs take care of business.

Personnel from Pitt’s Small Business Development Center will present “Launch My Business,” a three-part seminar series for individuals who are heading a start-up or a newer business, or are thinking of starting one.

Training sessions are scheduled from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Oct. 15 and 29 and Nov. 12 at 90 W. Chestnut St. in Washington. The seminars will be free, but participants must attend all of them.

Classes will be heavy on lectures and mentoring. Ray Vargo, Pitt’s SBDC director, said in a news release that the series is “designed to help startups that could use a hand with sales, operations, management, marketing and client retention.”

Participants may represent a wide range of industries: retail, service-based, home-based, subcontractors, e-commerce, technology and manufacturing. Each individual will get a workbook with more than 30 materials they can customize to their businesses, which can be implemented immediately.

They will learn and/or receive business, financial and marketing plans; social media strategies; a cybersecurity questionnaire; a strategic direction; and more.

This series was offered in Charleroi in the spring and in Washington two previous times. More than 50 graduated from those series and a number of people started a business in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Registration must be completed by Oct. 7 at https://launch-washington.eventbrite.com.

Pitt received a $1.035 million grant from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission in January to help fund this program. Sponsorship also came from Pitt’s SBDC, PA CareerLink and the U.S. SBA offset the program costs.

For more information, call 412-648-1542 or visit SBDC@innovation.pitt.edu.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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