For over 25 years, our executive director, Bob Farah, ran a large food pantry in New England, helping to feed the hungry, to "give them a fish", as the proverb says. The clients depended upon the food pantry and he enjoyed serving them. Some of them wished to be financially independent, however, but didn't know how to do so. Of course, many people have the same wish including the disabled, handicapped, elderly, impoverished, homeless, jobless, etc. etc. Our director recently retired. He and his wife Barbara relocated to Virginia. They can now devote much of their time to operating the Independence Program, one exciting way to "teach a man to fish".
Over a thousand pages long, the Independence Program is an in-depth, but inexpensive, and easy to understand self-study program for those who want to open their own businesses. Also, this course on average takes 40 hours to complete. A group of very successful businessmen donated a large amount of time to putting together the Independence Program, specifically designed to help people learn about business at their own pace. This program is also an excellent re-entry program for prisoners. It can be used effectively in halfway houses, drug rehabilitation centers, with veterans, and with anyone in the general public
The goal of the Independence Program is to help students develop their own business ideas and, upon completion of the program, they will have developed a full business plan for their own businesses. This plan will be usable for both the daily operations of the business and for raising funds to run the business via either loans or investors. Many businesses fail in the first few years. One of the major reasons they fail is that they do not have a good business plan. As the old adage states, "No business plans to fail but many businesses fail to plan." For every person who wants to learn about business, who wants to be a successful business person, this course is for you.
The Independence Program is a correspondence program. The program consists of 5 text books. It is a self study course which takes approximately 40 hours to complete. At the end of each text book is a test. The tests will help the student to determine if they have fully comprehended the material. The student completes the test and sends it to the programs staff for grading. All graded tests will be returned with corrected answers given for each incorrect answer.
From the material in the text books, the student can create between 25 and 50 percent of their business plan. This is material that is germane to all businesses. For instance, within the material, is an employee manual which every business can use. The businessmen who helped create this program, want to give the student as much information as possible to ensure their success. So, when the student has successfully completed the course, the student tells the Independence Program what industry they are trying to go into and the student will receive additional material that is specific to that industry. For example, if the student is planning on opening a restaurant, the Independence Program will send to that student an additional 75 pages specific to a restaurant business plan. With this additional material the student will have 65 to 75 percent of their plan completed before they even start writing!
In addition, the student can write to the program with his/ her questions. The businessmen who created the material have agreed to answer these questions in an ongoing basis. In this way, the student will not only get the material but will be able to obtain answers specific to his/ her situation. The goal of the businessmen is to do what they can to help the student to succeed.
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