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City Startup Labs’ New Center of Excellence:

City Startup Labs, an entrepreneurship school geared toward young black men, is looking for students and mentor/coaches for its Center of Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Students will learn how to launch a venture during a 15-week bootcamp, and have their business incubated over six months. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply at http://citystartuplabs.com/.

March 14 - April 18

Start Your Event Planning Business:

Corporations, organizations and individuals often rely on a professional event planner to create and carry out a successful business or social occasion--and success doesn't happen by chance. “How to Start an Event Planning Business” is a five-session course where you'll learn the start-up basics and techniques event planners use to create, budget, negotiate and operate a successful business. Tuition: $70. Mondays, March 14 - April 18, 6-8:30 p.m. at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, North Campus, 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd S., Salisbury. Go to www.rccc.edu to register, or call 704-216-3534 for more information.

By March 14

Nominate the N.C. Small-Business Advocate:

The SBA’s North Carolina District Office is seeking nominations for this year’s small-business advocate. Three people will be honored for advocating on behalf of veteran-, women- and minority-business owners. Honorees will be recognized May 2-6 during National Small Business Week. Nomination packages must hand delivered or postmarked by March 14 to the North Carolina District Office, 6302 Fairview Road, Suite 300, Charlotte. For more information, call April Gonzalez at 704-344-6811.

March 16

Metropolitan Business and Professional Women Luncheon:

Featured speaker is Ruth Samuelson, a former N.C. representative from Mecklenburg County. Cost: $30-$40. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Sullivan's Steakhouse 1928 South Blvd., Charlotte. To register, follow the link at mbpw.org/events.

March 17

Demystifying SBA Lending:

Learn more about the ins and outs of SBA loans at this session sponsored by Carolina Premier Bank’s Center for Business Strategies. 7:30-8:30 a.m. at Carolina Premier Bank, 13024 Ballantyne Corporate Place, second floor. Registration required by March 14: email rsvp@carolinapremierbank.com.

By March 21

ImpactU:

Applications are being accepted now for ImpactU, a nine-week summer accelerator program for college entrepreneurs run through social entrepreneurship hub Queen City Forward. For details and to apply, go to http://queencityforward.org/programs/impactu.

March 24

Free workshop for nonprofits:

Communicators and board members from Charlotte-region nonprofit organizations are invited to learn new communications and storytelling skills at the 15th annual “Profitable Communications for Nonprofits” workshop hosted by the Charlotte chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. Featuring Juan Garzón, founder of the Garzón Company, which helps entrepreneurs with their brand message, and Joanne Stratton Tate, head of Charlotte Bilingual Preschool. Free for board members and paid employees of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, with $15 fee for optional lunch; $50 workshop cost and $35 luncheon fee for attendees of for-profit organizations. 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Piedmont Natural Gas, 4720 Piedmont Row Drive. For details and to register, go to www.ciabc.com.

May 26

LACCC Business Expo

Save the date for the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte’s business expo, from 3-7 p.m. For exhibitor and sponsorship information, call Rocio Gonzalez at 704-343-2525.

Send us your news: Email us at shoptalk@charlotteobserver.com by 5 p.m. next Wednesday.

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