OUR OPINION: Enroll in Chamber programs to better yourself and your community

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 28, 2023

The Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce currently has two programs open for enrollment: Leadership Vicksburg and the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp.

Both programs are an excellent opportunity to not only improve oneself but also the community in which we live. Through service opportunities and targeted educational workshops, these chamber programs have proven to be successful through the growth of new businesses and improvement in community spaces.

The Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp is a six-week program that begins Sept. 11. During the program, participants learn the ins and outs of starting or growing a small business, with the added bonus of a business plan competition at the conclusion of the program.

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Winners of the program walk away with a $1,500 seed grant to support the growth of their business. Past winners that have gone on to local success include Gellissa Fevrier of All Curly Girls Salon and Kendra Reed’s Delta Dirt Shirts.

Aside from the seed grant, participants walk away with a better perspective of what it means to be a part of Vicksburg and Warren County’s business community — and with the tools to make a name for themselves long after the program ends.

The program wouldn’t be possible without the sponsorship of the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Vicksburg, Cadence, Delta Bank, Guaranty Bank, Mutual Credit Union, Regions Bank, River Hills Bank and Trustmark.

While its focus is different from the Entrepreneur Bootcamp, Leadership Vicksburg participants also go above and beyond to improve the quality of life for people in our community.

Applicants selected for the program will spend nine weeks working together to solve problems in the community while also making strides in the area of personal growth through a curriculum based on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey.

If you’ve ever looked around your neighborhood and thought to yourself, “I wish I had the tools to make things better,” this is the program for you.

Past Leadership Vicksburg projects that are still making an impact on the community include a courtyard restoration project at Vicksburg Convalescent home, ‘Adulting 101’ training for local high school students, the addition of a dog park near Vicksburg Municipal Airport and proposed improvements to Levee Street Park.

The Leadership Vicksburg program was formed to shape community leaders through a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges in our community. And so far, each class has done just that.

The deadline to apply for the Leadership Vicksburg program is Friday, Sept. 1.

Whether you’re new in town or a longtime resident looking to try something new, we encourage you to participate in Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce programs. You’ll be glad you did.