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Meet Marc Stein — Artist, Entrepreneur: Spotlight

selfportrait_002Did you notice that TheNemoNews has a new logo?  It is the work of artist Marc E. Stein a Chicagoland artist and entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in drawing animation and merchandise creation.   He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film with a concentration in 2-D animation,  from Columbia College.  He recently completed the UIC class in writing a business plan.mango

Marc has developed characters that he would like to expand into a broader product line.  He is contemplating the potential of developing an animated series based on one or the other.  Mango, the fearless and  inquisitive cat  is the primary candidate.

Marc’s recently had a booth at the Entrepreneurial Jumpstart Fair at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education (ICRE) where he displayed a variety of products from books to t-shirts to jewelry boxes.

Marc markets his work at http://www.cafepress.com/marcart.   He can be reached at mandmstein@msn.com

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Entrepreneurship Program — Open House August 27

word cloudEntrepreneurs with disabilities are about to get a helping hand.  The College of Lake County Personal Success Program (CLC-PSP) is about to offer a series of two classes aimed at teaching entrepreneurship skills.  The first class is “Introduction to Entrepreneurship”.  It is followed by “Business Plan Writing”.  Each class costs $350.  There will be an open house dealing specifically with the Entrepreneurship series on August 27, 2013, at the Grayslake Campus of CLC, from 6-8pm.  Pre-registration is encouraged.

A business plan is central to developing an enterprise that actually makes money and can be taken seriously by others.  Investors and customers like tangible evidence a business has been thought through – a business plan does that.   This class is different from others because  that it targets the needs of entrepreneurs with disabilities.  It addresses customized self-employment, micro-enterprise and other topics that are specific to disability.

In addition, students in the entrepreneurship class will be encouraged to bring a mentor along as a class participant, perhaps a parent.  This individual is likely to assist with the creation of the enterprise and remain committed to its success.   The attendance of two individuals is covered in the fee, in recognition of the need for committed partners.

This self-employment program came together whan a group of like-minded agencies and individuals came together to explore options.  Dubbed The Lake County Area Entrepreneurship Initiative (LCAEI), the principal organizing agencies include: the College of Lake County (CLC), the Illinois Association of Microboards and Cooperatives (IAMC) , the Lake County Center for Independent Living (LCCIL),   the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL), TheNemoNews.com,  The University of Illinois at Chicago and Vocational Rehabilitation.

The initiative was sparked by the efforts of Dr. Fabricio Balcazar at UIC.  He is working with federal and state agencies to develop other such projects in the Chicago area.

The initiative is expected to announce other activities that are currently in the planning stages.  For more information,  contact the project coordinator,  Mary Curran Rhodes at mary@thenemonews.com.

 

 

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Personal Success @ CLC — Open House August 12, 2013

Did you know that the College of Lake County offers a variety of classes to train adults with intellectual disabilities for entry-level employment?  This innovative and growing program is called the Personal Success Program.  These non-credit classes are offered in Career Exploration, Childcare, Food Service, Keyboarding and Pet Care.  New classes have been added this year in Cashiering, Entrepreneurship and Computer Skills for the Workplace.  (Watch TheNemoNews.com for more exciting news about the Entrepreneurship Program.)  Tuition ranges from $350 to $425 per course.

CLC is hosting an Open House for those interested on Monday, August 12, 2013 from 6-8pm at the Vernon Hills Campus.  There will be presentations and a chance to meet the instructors.  Preregistration in encouraged.  Last spring the Open House was standing room only.

Many of the classes are team-taught by a content area instructor and a special education instructor.  These classes are targeted at adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, but are open to the public.  Prior to admission, students interview with the Program Director, Michael Garamoni, mgaramoni@clcillinois.edu or (847) 543-2994.   Contact him for more information.

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Entrepreneur Registry: A NemoNews Project

Do you have your own business?    Do you want to start your own business?  Do you have a disability?  Are you in the Chicago area?  If so, TheNemoNews wants to hear from you.   Please register with us using the form below.  We promise not to sell your information, bug the heck out of you, or give away your trade secrets!

TheNemoNews is creating this registry for a couple of reasons:

First, we would like to talk to area entrepreneurs who have disabilities.   We might write up and publish some of the stories.  (With your permission.)  Your story might inspire others.

Second, we would like to invite you to events that are of particular interest to entrepreneurs.  There is growing interest in entrepreneurship among individuals with disabilities.  This includes developing resources to help them succeed.

Third, we would like to have some idea of how large this group is and the scope of activity.  That way we can better identify our strengths, figure out what is needed and make entrepreneurial success easier.

For more information on the registry, email Mary Curran Rhodes, mary@thenemonews.com

April 12, 2014:  The registry is now  closed.

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Entrepreneurial Jump Start on Saturday, June 8, 2013

JumpStart_FlyerChicagoland entrepreneurs (and wanna-bees) with Disabilities will gather this Saturday, June 8 for a day of education, networking and information.  Titled the “Entrepreneurial Jump Start” it will take place downtown at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education  (ICRE), 1950 W Roosevelt from 10am – 5pm, near UIC.

The fair will feature workshops, success stories, panels, booths and vendors.  In addition, it will mark the grand re-opening of their Artfully Gifted Retail Center — an consignment outlet for qualified business owners.

TheNemoNews recently toured the ICRE operation and was impressed by the vision and implementation of their goals and operations to promote entrepreneurship among those with disabilities.

For more information about the Entrepreneurial Jump Start contact Therese Manderino, Superintendent of the ICRE at  therese.manderino@illinois.gov, 312-433-3121.

 

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Federal Partners in Transition eDiscussion til May 27

Have you ever thought that there was a better way to do things?  Have you ever wished you could talk to somebody important enough to act on your ideas?  Or maybe just listen to your ideas?  Here’s your chance.  There is an online discussion taking place the next two weeks (May 13-27).  Representatives of the Department of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration (Federal Partners in Transition)   are hosting this discussion and asking the following question:

What legislative and regulatory changes need to happen to effectively implement employment, education, health and human and social security services for youth and young adults with disabilities under public law?

It is a “crowd-sourced” discussion.  Individuals and agencies present their ideas and the rest of us vote their ideas up and down.  In this way, the “cream” of ideas rise to the top.  There were over 100 ideas within 24 hours, and the top idea (with 54 votes) was to eliminate waiting lists.  (Nemo votes for that!)

Participants need to register in order to participate.  In order to participate go to:  http://fptepolicyworks.ideascale.com/  In addition, we asked one author a question about their particular idea, and have received half a dozen responses from participants so far.  So Nemo won’t be asking a lot of idle questions…LOL.

Nemo has noted that some ideas on the website are poorly written and difficult to understand.  Some are pure jargon.  A participant might want to draft an idea and have someone else read it before posting.  Otherwise your great idea could be lost in the mix if it is unclear.   And we don’t want that to happen!

 

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Nemo’s Business Plan: In Progress

Hoping to become self-sustaining and more robust, TheNemoNews.com started working on it’s business plan this spring.  Part of the process was to attend the Entrepreneurship Class held at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) during March and April.  While the business plan for Nemo  is not yet complete, we made great progress.  We will publish more about our plan as it moves forward.

There were about 10 students in the Business Plan class.  All were adults with disabilities who dreamed of self-employment.  All had an open case with Vocational Rehabilitation.  Their dreams ranged from fashion design to bed-bug control.  Some had dealt with disabilities all their life, others only recently.   And all of us sought to assess the competition, develop a marketing plan, struggled with  our break-even spreadsheets and tried to project earnings as we wrote our business plans.  The company we kept with each other was great.

Did you know that self-employment hovers around 11% among the disabled community?  That is somewhat more than the 7% in the general population.   It is good to see UIC and VR take a leadership role in promoting entrepreneurship among those with disabilities.   Dr. Fabricio  Balcazar should be lauded for leading these efforts at UIC.

For more information about the UIC Business Plan Program, contact Shawn Dimfl, sdimpf1@uic.edu, at 312-413-8993.

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Youth Internship at LCCIL

Are you still working on your plans for the summer?  How about building your resume while working at the Lake County Center for Independent Living.  Their “Voyager:  Summer Youth Internship” is seeking teens with disabilities who want to work on advocacy projects and gain more skills.

Among the skills they will be using are Office Skills such as typing and filing, Systems Advocacy, Event Planning, Project Management and more.

For more information contact Matt at 847-949-4440 matt@lccil.org.  The deadline for applications is May 20.

View the application here.

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Working and SSI/SSDI — LCCIL Workshop

The Social Security Administration has rules regarding work and income for recipients.   They also have special programs to encourage work.   The Lake County Center for Independent Living (LCCIL) is holding a workshop on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 from 1-2:30 pm  to help SSI and SSDI recipients understand the impact of working on their benefits.  The workshop will be at their offices at 377 N. Seymour Avenue in Mundelein.  An RSVP is requested.

To RSVP, contact Matt Rosenberg at 847-949-4440 or by email at matt@lccil.org

 

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Business Plan Class at UIC

The University of Illinois Chicago is offering a free business plan writing class for adults with disabilities that have open vocational rehabilitation cases with the Department of Rehabilitation Services.  The class is free of charge to those that meet these requirements.

Classes will begin on Monday, March 4th.  They will meet every Monday and Thursday fr0m 10am-12pm for eight weeks.  (March 4 – April 25, 2013)

The book for the class is “Business Plan in a Day” by Rhonda Abrams, Second Edition.  Students will have to buy the book which costs about $15.  (Nemo found some on-line .pdf files.)

If you are interested  or know somebody that is interested please complete the form that is attached to this article.  Complete and return the application to the instructor, Varun Saripella, vsarip2@uic.edu by February 25th.  For more information about the UIC Business Plan Program, contact Shawn Dimfl, sdimpf1@uic.edu, at 312-413-8993.

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