A new program to help unemployed and low-income people start their own business was scheduled to be unveiled today.
Entitled Business Owner Start-Up Services (BOSS), the program, is one of five state-run entrepreneurial training projects nationwide. Maryland's program, which began operation last Monday, will be piloted in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The other four projects are under way in Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Mississippi.
BOSS is designed to provide business-skills training and opportunities for participants to apply for business loans.
"BOSS will offer expertise in getting a business started while providing an option for employment and self-sufficiency," said J. Randall Evans, secretary of the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development (DEED).
The four-year program is sponsored by DEED's Office of Employment Training in cooperation with several other city and Baltimore County offices.
Primary funding is to come through the state's Project Independence and job training programs in the city and county. In addition, local banks and private organizations such as the Abell Foundation and the Council for Equal Business Opportunity have agreed to make seed capital loans available to participants in the program.
Capitalization of each business is expected to average about $10,000.
The first to be eligible for the program will be dislocated workers and recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Each participant will be enrolled in a three-month training program where he or she will be taught about business structure, planning and the day-to-day functions of a business.
For more information about BOSS, call the Office of Employment Training at 333-5718.