Fort Myers recently hosted Goodwill’s MicroEntperprise graduation ceremony on the campus. Nancy Tedros, Campus President, provided the welcome to this wonderful community partnership. Dr. Guido Minaya, Managing Partner with Minaya Learning Global Solutions, LLC delivered the commencement address. Goodwill’s MicroEnterprise program provides aspiring small business owners with the skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs and become more independent. MicroEnterprises are the backbone of the American economy. A microenterprise is any type of small business that has fewer than five employees and requires $35,000 or less to start-up, generally much less. MicroEnterprises represent 87% of all businesses in the United States. There are more than 24 million microenterprises in our country. One out of every six private sector employees in our country works for a microenterprise. Goodwill’s MicroEnterprise program is designed to help individuals with low to moderate income levels and other disadvantages to start or stabilize their own businesses. Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute is available to aspiring small business owners who live in the Southwest Florida area. Classes typically meet 10-12 times, usually twice a week in the evenings on the Fort Myers Campus. In the Goodwill MicroEnterprise program, business leaders will work with an instructor as well as a small business mentor who helps guide them through planning a business and share their personal experiences. These classes will assist in developing a feasibility plan that focuses on cash flow– the first and most critical step in creating a business plan. A strong business plan will help not only to run a business, but also to apply for financial assistance. After completion of the program, participants are invited to apply for a small character based micro-loan from Goodwill and their lending partners.