Eligible Mesa small business owners now can earn college credits for nearly free through the Mesa Business Builder (MBB) Educates U Program. The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development partnered with Mesa Community College (MCC) to provide qualified participants access to 17 programs of study to help level up business skills and increase competitiveness. Courses include accounting, Adobe animation and graphics, entrepreneurship, general business, marketing, retail sales management, small business management, and social media.
Before enrolling in the available certificate programs, business owners must first apply and be approved for the MBB Small Business Assistance Program. To be eligible businesses must be for-profit, physically located in Mesa, and have a valid Mesa General Business License.
Interested business owners are encouraged to apply now on Mesa HUUB, the City's online business support resources portal: myhuub.com/mesa.
"Education is key to elevating a small business owner's skills," said Mesa Economic Development Director Bill Jabjiniak. "These college business certificates will help equip them with the knowledge they need to succeed, and that is good for Mesa's economy."
Anthony and Erin Williams, co-owners of Turn Em Red Seasonings, are planning to sign up for classes. "As we continue to grow as a business, we have identified areas in which we are lacking. We need to improve these in order to better compete with others in our space," said Anthony, who started operating the business last year in the Local First Arizona community kitchen in Downtown Mesa.
"The more we know about managing a business and how to create better visuals to sell our products will only enhance everything that we offer to our customers," he said.
"We are thrilled to be working with the City of Mesa Office of Economic Development and Mesa's small business owners to build resiliency and increase the possibility of success for entrepreneurs through college-level training and education," said Diane Meza, director of Maricopa Information Technology Institute-East Valley (MITI-EV) at MCC.
MBB Educates U covers the tuition and course fees for 17 select business certificate programs. Eligible participants may enroll in up to two classes per semester for up to two people per business. Enrolled participants are responsible for MCC's $15 registration fee, books, and other class materials.
In addition, MCC provides a Navigator to help business owners in the MBB Small Business Assistance Program register for classes. The spring class schedule is currently available. Registration begins Monday, Oct. 9, with classes beginning Jan. 13, 2024.
Now in its third year, the MBB Small Business Assistance Program has helped more than 200 Mesa businesses during the past two years. The program provides free business support services to eligible licensed small businesses on a first-come, first-served basis through April 30, 2024, or until funds are exhausted. Program participants receive a package of services, such as customized professional consulting, boot camps, and education opportunities. For more information, read the FAQs at MesaBusinessBuilder.com.
Most businesses in Mesa are required to apply for the Mesa General Business License. The online application fee is $10 through the end of 2023. License FAQs can be found at mesaaz.gov/business/licensing.
For more information or assistance, contact MesaBusinessBuilder@mesaaz.gov.