EAC’s SBDC graduates 10 at DreamBuilder Ceremony

Contributed Photo/Courtesy EAC: Pictured are graduates of the 2022 Graham County DreamBuilder program. They are, back, from left, Sage Romero, Martha Quezada, Nona Black, Kristie Tingle, Desiree Schnell, Ivon Hansen, and Tiffany Faunce; front, from left, Clara Ochoa, Elieth Salazar-Alpizar.

By Sandra Robinson and Kris McBride/EAC

THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College’s Small Business Development Center (EAC SBDC) held a graduation ceremony last week for 10 local women who completed the 2022 Graham County DreamBuilder program. The online courses and supplemental workshops taught by EAC SBDC Business Analyst Sandra Robinson started on Feb. 9 and were held weekly up to graduation.  

DreamBuilder, funded by Freeport-McMoRan and created by ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, is a unique online business training program designed for women to assist them in starting or growing their own businesses. The DreamBuilder program consists of 13 online courses that walk users through the basics of starting a business while simultaneously building a business plan. The EAC SBDC developed nine in-depth workshops to accompany the online program; these supplemental lessons provide a richer learning experience for the participants. 

“We have had over 75 successful women graduate from this program over the last seven years,” said Robinson. “We were delighted to be able to offer the course in person again this year, as it allows for more interaction and stronger networking among participants.”

The ceremony included a keynote address from Jenny Howard, owner of Ginaveve’s Market Place, and the Tiny Bean Coffee Co. in Safford. Howard cited research from a study called “Harnessing the Power of Women-Owned Businesses” that found women who run their own businesses generate 10% more revenue in five years than men do. She stated that with support from programs like DreamBuilder, women have the power to significantly impact the U.S. economy and create more money and jobs. Howard encouraged graduates “to always have an open mind, always study, always look at the markets, and don’t be afraid to take a step and try something new.”

To sign up for next year’s DreamBuilder program, contact Tavia Raley, SBDC secretary, at (928) 428-8590.

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