Fresno Pacific programs helps encourage entrepreneurship during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Coffee and specialty drinks are brewing inside The Java Bar in East Central Fresno.

"It was scary opening up a business in the middle of a pandemic. It was scary; I was really nervous, but I said 'you know what, I've been doing this for two, three years, I've got it,'" said Keshawna Nelson, The Java Bar owner.

Nelson launched the Java Bar inside the Vision View Business Center near the airport last year. She got some help from Fresno Pacific University's Launch Central Valley to help her succeed.

"So they taught you a lot about budgeting. The type of customers you want to attract. Just the financial piece alone is so helpful," Nelson said.

"It's a nine-week boot camp for start-up businesses as well as individuals who have a side hustle they want to turn into their full-time hustles or full-time jobs," said Carlos Huerta, FPU Center for Community Transformation.

They're encouraging anyone interested to apply, regardless of their background.

Each student will be paired with a business mentor to help them before, during and after their business launches.

"Students get this room if you will to fail small, they fail fast, fail forward so they're learning from their ideas," Huerta said.

The deadline to apply is January 25. The fee is $50. The class begins virtually on January 26.

As for Nelson, she has dreams of expanding into Downtown Fresno and giving back to her employees.

Inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit in the Valley.

The Java Bar is open Monday through Friday 7 am-11 am during the pandemic. In the future, they hope to extend their hours and serve during happy hour.

For more information, visit their website.
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