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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 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.

Starting March 22

Serious about Starting a Business?

This hands-on six-week course through Rowan-Cabarrus Community College allows you to work on your business in class, with the benefit of feedback in a small-group setting. Discuss your idea, get answers to questions and brainstorm with classmates. Leave with a clear business concept, marketing strategy, a funding plan and more. Free. Participants are required to purchase the workbook “Self-Employment: From Dream to Reality” at www.jist.com prior to class. Classes are at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis on Tuesday mornings, 8:30-11 a.m., from March 22-April 5 (register for part one at http://bit.ly/1p5WmFk), and April 12-26 (register for part two at http://bit.ly/1p5Wvsv). For more information, call 704-216-3534.

March 24

Pod Castaway- Promote Your Business Through Podcasting:

Local entrepreneur Brandon Uttley, CEO of Go For Launch, talks about the opportunities in podcasting. At the event, get a first-hand look at what it takes to produce and promote a podcast, and learn about the types of equipment you will need if you are thinking about starting your own show. Free to members of Business Innovation Growth (BIG), $20-$30 for guests. 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at Goodmortgage.com, 3325 South Tryon St. Register at www.bigcouncil.com or by emailing terry@bigcouncil.com.

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.

March 31

Franchising as an Option:

This seminar will provide guidance on how to explore franchise ownership, how to find the right franchise for you and avoid mistakes, how to utilize the franchise disclosure document, and how to finance a franchise business purchase. Free. 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Central Piedmont Community College Small Business Center, Hall Building Room 215, 1112 Charlottetowne Ave. Register at www.cpcc.edu/sbc/register.

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

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