The Louisiana Business and Technology Center, LSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have partnered in a unique, innovative project for Louisiana. The LBTC Mobile Classroom, dubbed the “Driving Louisiana’s Economy” initiative, is a custom-designed 18-wheeler trailer retrofitted to house seminars and workshops for small business owners. The self-contained Mobile Classroom has state-of-the-art audio/visual capabilities, including a large plasma screen monitor, broadband wireless internet connectivity, and seats up to 24 people for seminars.
The Mobile Classroom is scheduled to visit 37 rural parishes as it tours Louisiana to present various programs including leadership development seminars, small business workshops on a variety of topics, women and minority business forums, entrepreneurship training, business planning and marketing workshops, access to capital workshops, and Small Business Innovation Research Grant seminars. In light of the devastating impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Mobile Classroom will pay special attention to the business recovery and development needs in Louisiana’s hurricane-impacted areas.
The mission of the Mobile Classroom is to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs located in Louisiana by providing access to the resources, infrastructure, and expertise needed to grow and sustain long-term success.
The Mobile Classroom will foster, develop, and integrate the LBTC’s entrepreneurial development system by providing a delivery platform and systematic approach for entrepreneur education, training, technical assistance, access to capital, access to networks and creating a sustainable entrepreneurial cultural in rural Louisiana.
The LBTC entrepreneurial system strives to:
- Assemble a strong and competent coalition of collaborative partners to develop a system and to continue delivering the content once the program has concluded
- Provide innovative entrepreneurial education, technical assistance training program and training materials for all entrepreneurs that can be replicated nationally
- Facilitate the development and/or expansion of the entrepreneur infrastructure
- Foster a forward-thinking entrepreneurship culture that develops sustainable networks and assists with the creation of policies consistent with successful entrepreneurship development activities