Interested in starting your own business? Or, improving the business you already own?

A series of free entrepreneurship workshops have been scheduled in Carbon County to assist yearning entrepreneurs.

Dawn Ferrante, executive director of Carbon County Economic Development, said the workshops start at 6 p.m. Thursday and will be held on eight different evenings between September 13 and November 27.

At each session, a different topic will be discussed, ranging from getting started to accounting and legal issues, taught by professionals in the field.

The classes will be held at the CareerLink office, 69 Broadway, Jim Thorpe.

The schedule announced by Ferrante, with the instructor in parenthesis, is as follows:

Ÿ Getting Started, Thursday, Sept. 13, 6-8 p.m. - Getting Started (Jay Plotnick and Mike Willency of Lehigh Valley SCORE).

Ÿ Developing a Business Plan, Friday, Sept. 21, 1-3 p.m. (Ed Kowalczyk, Wilkes University).

Ÿ Developing a Business Plan, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 6-8 p.m. (Ed Kowalczyk, Wilkes University).

Ÿ Financing Your Business, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 6-8 p.m. (Tom Pellegrini, Northeastern Pa. Alliance).

Ÿ Marketing Your Business, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 6-8 p.m. (Rick Grank, Rick Grant Associates).

Ÿ Accounting, Bookkeeping and Taxes, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6-8 p.m. (Stan Bushner and Sheila Knappenberger, Buckno Lesicky).

Ÿ Legal Issues, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 6-8 p.m. (Jane Sebelin from Sebelin Law Offices).

Ÿ Hiring Employees, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 6-8 p.m. (Richard Warner from Lehigh Carbon Community College).

To register for the free workshops, call Linda Rex at 570-325-2810 or e mail

Ferrante said this is the second year of the workshops. She said some who attended last year continue to operate their own businesses independently.

"The concept is how do we create cultural entrepreneurship in Carbon County," she said, adding that the workshops are a way of giving knowledge to individuals who want to start their own businesses in Carbon County.

She said she was surprised to hear that many individuals who come to CareerLink looking for jobs indicate they want to start their own business.

"Last year was very successful," she said, noting that there were 20 to 30 attendees per class.

Rick Grant of Rick Grant Associates, who will be the instructor for the marketing segment, has been doing marketing work for 12 years and was a journalist in New York City for eight years.

He said one of the things he will teach is utilizing social media as a marketing device.

"It's so affordable," he said. "They need to take advantage of customers who love what they do. Most of the tools we show them to use are free."

He said this includes such sites as Facebook, linkedin, and Twitter.

"We'll talk about blogging, which we find is really important," he said.

Stan Bushner of Buckno Lesicky said tax laws are being drastically changed in 2013 and it is important business owners become aware of these changes.

He said covered will be federal, state, local, payroll, and sales taxes.

Accounting practices also will be reviewed in his segment of the training.

Sheila Knappenberger, senior accountant with the firm, interjected, "I think it is important to know how to keep good records when you're starting a business."