VALDOSTA – Wiregrass Georgia Technical College announces the Spring Guardian Bank Entrepreneurship Academy starting in February, free for current Wiregrass students and alumni. 

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Valdosta State University is partnering with Guardian Bank and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College to deliver six courses with 12 hours of total class time, college officials said. 

The business topics to be discussed include writing a business plan, money finance and accounting, marketing, human resources and planning. 

The courses will have knowledgeable speakers in specialized business areas, self-evaluation and opportunities to participate in question and answer time with guest speakers, college officials said. The UGA SBDC will also provide one-on-one consulting for participants.

The spring class will be the third series sponsored by Guardian Bank. 

Ben Thornhill, Wiregrass commercial truck driving graduate, said “This class helped me to thoroughly understand both the big picture and the inner workings of owning and operating a business. Instructors were patient and assisted me with creating and executing a business plan I can successfully integrate into my company. 

"With this I am confident I have the foundation needed to shore up a working, successful company.”

The Entrepreneurship Academy is made possible thanks to the generous pledge of $50,000 during a five-year period by Guardian Bank, college officials said. 

“This provides a wonderful opportunity for many of our students who have career goals of starting their own business,” Wiregrass President Dr. Tina K. Anderson said. “Any graduates who are looking to start their own business, the Entrepreneurship Academy can provide valuable knowledge.”

“Guardian Bank is proud to financially support a viable community partnership which provides strong support for those individuals wishing to enter into the small business arena,” said Parrish Clark, Guardian Bank chief executive officer. “We were especially interested in touching the lives of those who possess a creative spirit for owning their own business and becoming an integral part of the local economy. Guardian Bank looks forward to a productive relationship with Wiregrass Technical College and VSU’s Small Business Development Center.”

The dates of the classes are Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26 and March 4 and 11. All classes begin at 1 p.m. and end at 3 p.m. The classes will be held at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, 4089 Val Tech Road, Lowndes Hall, Room 7134. Also available on the Ben Hill-Irwin, Cook and Coffee campus by remote. 

Anyone seeking strategies to start or grow a business, visit, or call (229) 245-3738 or (229) 333-2124. There is special pricing available for the public to attend the Guardian Bank Entrepreneurship Academy at Wiregrass, those interested would need to register with the SBDC, (229) 245-3738.

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