County Pushes for Business Academy

An entrepreneur academy to help small businesses stay afloat could be opened in Ventura County if the Board of Supervisors wins grant funds from the state, officials said Tuesday.

The board agreed Tuesday to apply for $271,800 in state funding to create the academy that would train 300 small-business owners over 15 months.

Some of the classes would focus on marketing, management and strategic planning.

“I have seen some really fine people take their life savings and put it into a business idea that they have, then they flounder and sometimes fail,” Supervisor Vicky Howard said.


“They don’t have that business expertise. I can see where this would be very helpful to some of them,” she said.

The supervisors voted 5 to 0 to seek the money from the California Employment Training Panel.

The panel, which disburses money collected through the state’s Unemployment Insurance Fund, has paid for training programs to increase business production and competitiveness since 1983, said county Personnel Director Ronald Komers.

Komers said about $102 million in training funds was available through the state panel last year. He said county officials approached the state in June to informally pitch the idea of forming an academy. He said they were told that the panel would consider the proposal.


Komers said the county will work with educators and business leaders to avoid duplicating classes already offered at area community colleges.