Be your own boss: Community College of Vermont offers business startup course | Business

BENNINGTON — Being your own boss is more realistic than you might think.

The Community College of Vermont will teach you how to create your own business through its Startup802: An Entrepreneurship Mindset course, offered this semester.

Robert Braathe, the owner of a resume writing business, will teach the course. Between the CCV and other colleges, he’s taught it for well over six years.

The course will cover the basics of opening a business. It will begin “helping you build knowledge, wealth, create your brand, build community and have some persistence in your development along the way,” Braathe said at a virtual open house Monday night.

The physical class starts Jan. 24 and will meet for six sessions on Mondays, 6 to 8:45 p.m. A portion of each night will consist of networking, and the course culminates in an expo in which students pitch their business plan.

A flexible virtual option is also available, with nearly identical course content, but students pace the course themselves.


For in-state residents, the one-credit course will cost $280. Out-of-state students pay $560 for the class, but some border towns in New York qualify for in-state rates.

And Darcy Oakes, coordinator of student advising, said aid is available, even for nontraditional students.

Students can apply for an advancement grant through the Vermont Student Assistance Corp., or explore options through Veterans Affairs’ Rehabilitation Division or the Department of Labor to offset course costs.

“And I would just encourage any interested person to connect with me. I’m happy to work with folks individually … and direct them towards funding resources that are the best fit for them,” said Oakes.

A range of experiences

Braathe explained that the course has attracted an equal mix of students. Some are community members interested in starting a business, some are Mount Anthony Union High School students accruing college credit, and others are traditional CCV matriculated students.

And the class has had many success stories.

Michael Gahan took Startup802 in fall 2019. He’d run a few businesses before, but had just begun the process of getting his towing business, Homer’s Transport, off the ground.

“Networking was awesome,” he said of the course. “Working with the instructor and the other students, I thought, was helpful. It’s nice to be on the same page with people. We’re all learning the same things.” And he said the course was interesting to boot.

Oakes vouched for its importance. “It’s a class that students exit from really growing their skills and being better prepared for any courses that might come next. So it’s a great fit for those folks interested in their business but also for folks just interested in some transferable skill building as well,” she said.

For registration information, visit

Christin Hakim

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