- Associated Press - Sunday, July 3, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An Albuquerque organization that educates entrepreneurs on how to expand their businesses is sending its curriculum to North Carolina and Portugal.

Creative Startups is recruiting for the first North Carolina cohort, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/29foUdS ). The program is slated to debut internationally in Portugal.

Creative Startups offers a six-week course mostly online for business owners nationwide. The program culminates in-person with participants pitching businesses or ideas to investors and entrepreneurs.

Creative Startups is licensing all the intellectual material, while each site in North Carolina and Portugal provides staff, co-founder Alice Loy said.

A $190,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation helped set the program up for use in more locations.

“We’ve been contacted by potential partners in more than 40 cities,” Loy said. “We have 10 new licensing arrangements in the pipeline now.”

The next Albuquerque program will be in September.

Etkie CEO Sydney Alfonso said the curriculum helped the Albuquerque-based Native American jewelry producer. The company expects $300,000 in sales compared with $125,000 last year. “Etkie is now sold in over 65 luxury boutiques in seven countries,” Alfonso said.

Beyond Buckskin owner Jessica Metcalfe said her North Dakota company has grown as well.

The promoter and seller of Native American clothing, jewelry and accessories opened its first shop in May and markets products for more than 40 producers.

“Creative Startups really helped me accelerate the business,” Metcalfe said. “I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am as quickly without it.”

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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