Can the state help you freelance?

I recently starting working with a new client, Anne Austin, whom I met at the Creative Freelancer Conference in Denver in 2010. She wanted help creating content for her web site but couldn’t afford the entire fee for my Web Site Group, so she went to the state of Wyoming for help…and she got it. Maybe you can too. Here’s what she did:

I have taken advantage of grant money from the state (of Wyoming) that is made available to educate and train business owners and employees so they are current on the latest skills and methods available. The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services administers the grants under the Business and Outreach division.

I learned about the grant money through Wyoming Entrepreneur which is a network of three programs at the University of Wyoming—the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Market Research Center (MRC). It works in partnership with the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Wyoming Entrepreneur has regional directors that provide free services and consulting to entrepreneurs in areas such as government, business plans, marketing plans, financial health checkup, business valuation, eCommerce, succession planning, international trade, tourism marketing, market research, business ethics, social media, QuickBooks, and others.

They also offer classes and webinars throughout the state in all of these areas—some free, some at a nominal fee.

Through an entrepreneur friend, I learned to contact my regional director and she has been a great resource. She informed me of the Workforce Training Grant and assisted me with the somewhat convoluted application process—making it very easy. She is also an accountant and trained in Quickbooks and she provides coaching in those areas.

If someone has specific needs for market research or if you are wondering how to start a business or manage a business, she can connect them with the appropriate advisor. All of this at no cost to the business.

I have taken advantage of some of these services and classes, and I could certainly utilize Wyoming Entrepreneur more.

Wyoming Workforce Training Grants cover 60% of a training conference, class or seminar. The business is responsible for 40% of the cost. Some of the grant money is given upfront, the rest is sent after the training has ended and a final report is submitted.

Anyone else know of or utilitizing these types of services?