ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/14392/arrowhead-center-city-of-las-cruces-economic-development-second-bizsprint-seeking-participants

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center and the City of Las Cruces (CLC) Economic Development department is seeking participants for its second business accelerator designed to help Las Cruces businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Las Cruces BizSprint is a free eight-week session which will help 15 local companies focus on best practices in business management and e-commerce training. Applications for the second cohort are open until Sept. 29, and the cohort will run from Oct. 21 to Dec. 9. 

“Local businesses continue to struggle from the fallout that COVID-19 closures and restrictions have had on their businesses,” said Dana Catron, director of Strategic Operations at Arrowhead Center.

“We designed these cohorts to teach businesses how to pivot fast and establish a strong online presence, helping them adjust to the reality of doing business in this COVID-19 era.”

BizSprint will offer participants an intensive, cohort-based experience that guides entrepreneurs through business creation, pivot and growth, with an emphasis on customer discovery, market insight and e-commerce. There will also be time dedicated to teaching the basics of economics, building an online presence and cash management.

“As our department looks for collaborations to address the challenges being faced by our local businesses, we are encouraging all businesses to apply for this program,” said Griselda T. Martínez, CLC director of Economic Development. “Finding new customers and establishing an online presence for our local business owners is an investment. This is the program to learn the what and the how to stay strong as businesses in this current situation.”

“With closures still in place in many locations, a business’s online presence is critical for them to reach customers,” said Catron. The sprint will work with participants to establish and/or revamp social media accounts, stress the benefits of different outlets and analyze which social media outlet may be the most valuable for each business.

Participants will gain access to high-quality curriculum, exposure to resources, connections within the NMSU system, different opportunities, and one-on-one assistance and mentorship from Arrowhead staff members and the organization’s large network of enterprise advisers – experts in industry sectors and business development areas necessary for successful entrepreneurship.

“Our advisers are an incredible resource for participants to work out any stumbling blocks in their business,” said Catron. “Many times, the advisers have already worked through that situation and can point business owners to resources to help them overcome those challenges.”

Because BizSprint is delivered virtually, the program is positioned to help businesses immediately, even while social distancing is still mandated. Apply for the free Las Cruces BizSprint at https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/program/sprints/las-cruces-bizsprint/

For more information, contact Isabella Pedicone at iped@nmsu.edu.