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Business Enterprise Program - Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind

Program Description

Eligibility Requirements

Program Incentives

Business Opportunities

The Training Program

For More Information

Program Description
 
The Business Enterprise Program (BEP) is responsible for the development of high quality business ventures for program participants who desire to become entrepreneurs. Under permits with host agencies, entrepreneurs operate businesses that range from gift shops to full scale restaurants. The entrepreneurs derive the full profits from their operations.
 
Eligibility Requirements
To be considered for the Business Enterprise Program, an individual must meet the following requirements:
  • Legally blind as defined by State Regulations
  • Registered for services through the Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind
  • Citizen of the United States
Program Incentives
For individuals who successfully complete the Business Enterprises training program, there are many incentives awaiting such as:
  • No franchise or start-up costs. BEP covers the cost of all equipment needed for the operation. There is no rent and no hidden fees
  • Earnings – The earnings from your business is your income.  There is no limit!
  • Health Insurance and Retirement Benefits:  You would have access to the state’s insurance and retirement programs
  • Business Management Training is provided at no cost on an individualized, self-paced basis
  • Career Advancement – You are eligible for consideration to advance into vending facility locations that offer higher earning potential as you acquire experience in the program and opportunities for advancement become available
Business Opportunities
There are currently over thirty locations operating in Connecticut. The types of vending facilities include: 
  • Gift Shops
  • Newsstands
  • Snack Bars and Coffee Shops
  • Full Service Cafeterias
  • Micro-market vending facilities
Average annual earning for a facility manager are in excess of $30,000. Some of the larger locations bring more than $80,000 in profit to the facility manager.
 
The Training Program
Academic Training
(approximately four weeks) including:
  • Customer Relations – Interpersonal skills development for appropriately interacting with customers
  • Menu/Product/Service – Development of the product lines or services which will be offered to the patrons of the business
  • Merchandising – Effective display of product or services and facility space use
  • Marketing - From in house sales development via flyers, fax machines, or computer links, to point of sales marketing for enhancing sales and profitability
  • Purchasing/Receiving – The ordering of products according to inventory and sales needs, and receiving of goods to be offered for sale
  • Food/Product/Service Costing – Cost Development based on the actual cost of merchandise and or services
  • Inventory Control - Planning for inventory purchasing based on actual inventory and budget constraints
  • Business Reports – How to organize business records,  document costs and profits on an ongoing basis
  • Budgeting – Developing business budgets to maximize profits while paying suppliers, employees, and taxes on a timely basis 
On The Job Training – 6 to 8 Weeks
On-the-job practice and skill development at an actual vending facility location under the supervision of a trained facility manager and a field representative including:
  • Training on the safe use of facility equipment (griddles, deep fryers, meat slicing equipment, knives, vending machines, etc.) as appropriate for the business
  • Production of Products and or Services – On-the-job practice of systematically tracking and producing products or services as needed
  • Customer Service including the operation of a cash register,  serving lines and deli counters
  • Facility maintenance – Developing on-the-job skills to maintain a clean facility 
Certification in Food Sanitation
For those seeking to manage facilities requiring food licenses, a food safety sanitation course is included in the training framework.  This food sanitation certification is required for three of the four types of food licenses.  The ServSafe Serving Safe Foods Certification Program (provided by the National Restaurant Association) is taught by a Certified Instructor.  This is a home study course followed by sixteen hours of class room study and Certification Test. 

 

For More Information

To learn more about the Business Enterprise Program call or email Edward Owens, Business Enterprise Program Supervisor at:

Email: Edward.owens@ct.gov
Phone: (860) 602-4198