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Nov 1, 2010 4:18 PM by Katie Durio

Acadiana Regional Development District provides a program to help start businesses

Acadiana Regional Development District (ARDD) receives around $47,000 to help entrepreneurs start businesses. To reach ARDD, call 337-886-7782.

Louisiana Economic Development in conjunction with Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has allocated $425,000 statewide for the Microenterprise Development Program, which offers entrepreneurship and business training to create owner-operated Microenterprise businesses in Louisiana. The funds were awarded to training service providers in all eight regions of the state to equip eligible individuals with personal and business development skills.

"This grant will help many St. Mary families in starting their own businesses. It's the small businesses that create jobs and wealth", said Paul Naquin, Parish President. "

"St. Mary Parish entrepreneurs have spawned many new businesses like Oceaneering, Conrad Industries, Kidder/Apex, Swiftships and Filter Solutions to name a few", said Frank Fink, Director of Economic Development.

Since 2006, training service providers across the state have trained approximately 1,250 individuals across the state, with 30 percent going on to start their own microenterprise.

To qualify for the program, an individual must be the parent or qualified caregiver of a child with earned income levels at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and/or meet other Temporary Assistance for Needy Families guidelines.

The program begins with a comprehensive assessment. Once the assessment is complete, participants begin a business development course that includes entrepreneurship training, personal effectiveness, financial literacy and technical assistance. As part of the course, participants will also write a business plan. Upon successful completion of the program and submission of a qualifying business plan, participants are forwarded to various sources of capital to assist with startup business costs.

To learn more about the MED program, visit



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