The Mercer County Office of Economic Development and UCEDC, a nonprofit small business lender and training provider (originally known as the Union County Economic Development Corporation), are offering a free six-week workshop for startup business owners who are planning on starting a business or who have been in business less than a year.

The next session of Entrepreneurship 101 will run on Tuesday evenings, from September 29 through November 10 at the Mercer County Connection in Hamilton. Cost: $225. Visit or call 908-527-1166.

“The small business failure rate is staggering,” said Erich Peter, UCEDC’s director of training. “But you’ll be more likely to succeed if you consider every challenge ahead of you and make sure you have what it takes to meet them.”

Participants will be guided through a real-world assessment of their business idea and market feasibility as well as the demands of business ownership. The steps to opening a business in New Jersey, choosing a legal structure, developing a business plan, and establishing cost, revenue, and cash flow projections will be addressed in a variety of interactive exercises.

“Being a business owner is hard work, and this workshop is equally demanding,” Peter said. “But we’re going to work with you both in and outside of the classroom to make sure that the class material is relevant to your specific needs. And we stick with our graduates for 12 months, providing free mentoring and counseling services.”

Entrepreneurship 101 is a component of UCEDC’s Entrepreneurial Training Initiative, an ongoing small business training effort, offered in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Sessions for start-ups and established businesses are held throughout the state.

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