Granby hosts DreamBuilder entrepreneurial program
Destination Granby and Grand County’s Economic Development office began a seven-week session of the DreamBuilder entrepreneurial program, created through a partnership between the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation and Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, on Aug. 1.
The program features 13 online courses that take 25-30 hours to complete and can be done outside of a larger group. The eight people in Granby’s program are taking the classes at the same time and have weekly meetings to discuss what they have learned and hear from guest speakers.
Lauren Huber, executive director of Destination Granby, said the organization had programs to support existing small businesses, but she wanted to find a way to support the creation of businesses. She formed an informal group to talk about ways to support entrepreneurs, and DiAnn Butler from Grand County Economic Development suggested DreamBuilders.
“During the first meeting, (Butler) said, ‘Well, it’s funny, you know, there’s already a program designed to do this,’” Huber said. “We all looked at each other like, ‘Well, why would we recreate the wheel?’”
Butler said Freeport-McMoRan, which supports Grand County Economic Development and local chambers, trained county workers in the DreamBuilders program a few years ago, but the coronavirus pandemic derailed the first attempt to start offering in-person sessions.
“We’ve used it over the years when businesses are interested because they could do it without a cohort group,” Butler said. “It’s just stronger when you have the facilitation and you bring in guest speakers.”
This session is the first offered with a group in Grand County. Huber said anyone could join the program, although it was originally intended to target women, and Destination Granby and Grand County hope to offer the program regularly in the future. Butler said another more in-depth program, Costarters, could help entrepreneurs who are further along in their business development.
When Huber presented the DreamBuilder idea to the town board, it piqued Trustee Rebecca Quesada’s interest. Quesada said she has thought about starting a business for a while, but not knowing how to finance her idea has held her back.
“That was the sole reason I’m taking the class,” Quesada said. “Also all of the positive reinforcement and help that they’re going to provide during and after the class.”
Quesada said the class, which is three weeks into its sessions, has not gotten to the finance section yet. Butler said participants will learn about financing, marketing, legal issues and everything else they need to develop a full business plan.
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