Guardian Bank Entrepreneurship Academy


The UGA Small Business Development Center at Valdosta State University is partnering with Guardian Bank and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College to deliver 6 courses spanning 11 hours of total class time covering core business topics. The courses will feature speakers that have knowledge in specialized business areas, self-evaluation and comprehension of practices used in daily business topics of discussion, and opportunities to engage with and have Q&A’s with guest speakers.

Combined with one-on-one consulting with a UGA SBDC at VSU professional, participants will learn to apply the strategies needed to start or grow their business.

COST: $39


Program Features

This program features 11 total hours of class time on topics such as:

  • Business Plan Writing
  • Marketing
  • Money: Finance/Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Strategic Planning

Course Information

Session 1 & 2 | Business Plan (3 hours 40 minutes)

This class guides participants through the specific components of a well-written and comprehensive business plan to position their business for stability and growth.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Sections of a Business Plan
  • Format of a Business Plan
  • Business Concept
  • Market Research
  • Business Structure
  • Sources of Capital

Session 3 | Marketing (1 hour 50 minutes)

An interactive course designed to familiarize participants with the basics of marketing, including target market selection, distribution, promotion, advertising, and sales.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Market Research
  • Marketing Plan
  • Social Media Strategies
  • Sales Strategies

Session 4 | Money – Finance/Accounting (1 hour 50 minutes)

Course introduces participants to simple yet powerful financial forecasting techniques. Using forecasting models and analysis tools, the participants learn how to better understand and use financial information to guide them when making critical business decisions.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Understanding Financial Statements
  • Planning and Forecasting
  • Cash Flow and Net Income
  • Financial Tools and Tips

Session 5 | Human Resources (1 hour 50 minutes)

An opportunity to focus on how to find and hire the right people. The peer learning atmosphere provides valuable feedback in choosing the best way to expand your company with new employees. Hiring right the first time is critical to the overall success of your company’s growth and future success.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Human Resource laws
  • Job Description
  • Employee Handbook
  • Finding the right people
  • Interview and screening

Session 6 | Strategic Planning (1 hour 50 minutes)

Course is designed to give a better understanding of strategic decision making. It will explain why a strategic plan is needed and the difference between a business plan, and a strategic plan. The course also discusses how the plan will help ensure a business’s success and why the process is so important in today’s business environment.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Vision and Mission Statement
  • Objectives and Values
  • Strategies and Action Items
  • Measuring the results

Program Partners

Valdosta State University Logo

Upcoming Classes

Guardian Bank Entrepreneurship Academy: Strategic Planning
Planning a Business (Workshop)
March 29
01:00 PM to 03:00 PM

All programs of the UGA SBDC are open to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.