ROPE: Rural Outreach Program for Entrepreneurs

ROPE's mission is to provide small business startup and growth tools to rural Southeast Alaska, through free workshops and one-on-one business consulting. We want to improve the lives of Southeast Alaskans by helping new businesses become healthy businesses.

ROPE is a program of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Alaska Small Business Development Center.

Now is the time for ROPE. And for you.

The logging and fishing industries have receeded, and energy costs are spiraling upward. But you want to remain in Southeast Alaska, and are looking for a new way to support yourself, and perhaps your family. You have an idea and a vision, and know you'll need to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

Starting a new business is neither simple nor easy. There are many business aspects to be aware of, each of which requires careful decision-making. It can be confusing and nerve-wracking. But many people do this successfully — and we're here to guide you on the road to success.

ROPE staff can help you to understand the challenges that new businesses face, both in general terms and related to your specific business purpose. We'll help you identify potential pitfalls, bumps and dead ends. We'll guide your planning and execution to avoid and/or conquer these obstacles to business success.

Good planning = good business.

Planning your new business is your first step toward success. We'll encourage and support your focus on a variety of planning, such as: business planning, operational planning, growth planning, disaster planning and financial planning.

We'll help you to be strategic about you business - so that you own your business and not the other way around. We do this by offering a variety of business planning, management and operations resources. We strive to connect new businesses to the answers and solutions they need.

We are trainers and advisors - walking, talking small business toolboxes.

All ROPE staff have personal experience starting up and owning their own small businesses, helping other people start-up and grow theirs, or both. Our instructors are selected because they not only know the workshop concepts, but understand how important the concepts are to the success of new businesses.

We believe that giving you the tools you need to make a living on your own is both empowering and rewarding. We think good business is imaginative business - it enhances creativity, and generates a space for innovation.

Yet we are neither experts nor authorities on your business, and we won't have the final word on any matter. To be certain, we won't tell you how to run your business. But if we do our work well, you'll feel like you've done it yourself. And you will have.