INSTIG8, local businesses collaborate to help other small businesses

BRATTLEBORO — This spring, the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation's INSTIG8 program is offering several workshops to help small businesses. INSTIG8 is partnering with local experts specializing in management, leadership, technology, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, and workplace efficiency.

Registration and additional information are available at

On May 3, INSTIG8 will host an information session for a two-part, hands-on workshop with Jeff Lewis and R.T. Brown. The workshop, “What is SWOT - Refine and Define Your Small Business,” involves a structured SWOT analysis to help businesses understand strengths, opportunities, threats, and weaknesses and then use that information to implement change.

Lewis has helped dozens of companies reshape how they think about what they do - and, perhaps more importantly, why they do it. Recommended attendees for this series are general managers and owners. Dates: May 10 and 17. This series is $75. Location: BDCC, 76 Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro.

In Londonderry on May 29, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., INSTIG8 will organize a Small Business Resource Workshop at the Town Office Building, 100 Old School Street, South Londonderry. This two-hour workshop pulls together a variety of resources to help small businesses at various stages.

If you're starting up, need to expand, or need to start thinking about transitioning away from the daily operations, resources will be available to help you understand potential next steps. Participating resources include: BDCC, VtSBDC, The Vermont Employee Ownership Center, Pieciak & Company Accountants, and Dunkiel Saunders Law Firm.

On June 5 and 12, Bob Lawson of Sustainable Digital will conduct a hands-on, day-long workshop on the website platform Squarespace. This workshop is structured to help participants design a site, craft each page, and finally turn the site live without the need for a webmaster.

Participants will work on their own sites, using their own computers, under the skilled eye of the workshop instructor. While there is no guarantee that they can complete their sites in just the single day, anyone who invests the time and energy to learn Squarespace will be able to launch a site soon after the workshop. The cost for this workshop is $140. Location: BDCC, 76 Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro.

On June 26, the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Service will help businesses become more efficient with their highly regarded “Fundamentals of Lean Office 101.” The workshop focuses on the unique application of LEAN, developed for manufacturing processes, to the office environment, where processes aren't always visible.

Using an interactive approach, students will use several tools to learn the best way to see a process, identify waste, and determine the LEAN tools to use to create a more effective administrative organization. Date: 6/26. Check the BDCC INSTIG8 website event listings for forthcoming details.

In addition to these training and workshops, INSTIG8 will host other events for entrepreneurs: on April 30, a Mini-Pitch Pitch Party at Duo Restaurant in Brattleboro and, on June 20, an Idea Jam, location TBD.

Also in June, INSTIG8 will sponsor a BDCC Microentrepreneur Loan Program Mixer with the Great Falls Chamber at the Waypoint Center in Bellows Falls.

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