The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 19, 2012

Established entrepreneurs make promising Autry OSU Boot Camp program possible

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Surviving on the hardscrabble prairie, the pioneers rolled up their sleeves to sustain life for future generations.

As Enid blossomed over the century, a new generation of entrepreneurs forged a new economy for northwest Oklahoma. Now it’s time for the established generation to provide leadership and support for a new era of business innovation.

The latest effort in the ongoing drive to create new local entrepreneurs is Autry Technology Center’s OSU Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs. It’s the first step in the Grow Enid Inc. program, billed as “a concerted effort of public and private institutions in the Enid region to foster the start up and growth of small businesses.”

The local Boot Camp program is largely possible due to the sponsorship of local entrepreneurs Lew Ward, founder and chairman of Ward Petroleum, and Paul Allen, co-founder of Advance Food Co. We appreciate their generosity and desire to foster future growth.

The program teaches prospective and current business owners skills in business plan development, marketing, small business finance and different legal structures for small businesses.

Full scholarships are available for students of educational institutions, active-duty service members, veterans and their spouses. Reduced-rate scholarships are available for all based on need.

The program goes beyond bookwork, and includes hands-on training and a chance to meet and network with other trainees and current business owners.

The hardest part is writing a business plan. It’s a crucial step in taking a business concept, evaluating its viability and making a specific plan for everything from start-up capital to marketing strategy and annual financial projections.

For more information on the OSU Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs and other business development training, go to, or call Brian Gaddy, director of the James W. Strate Center for Business Development at Autry Technology Center, at (580) 242-2750.