eL3 is a training company that was born out of “seeing a problem and finding a solution”.
IT STARTED WITH the denver sbdc
Like most of the 1400 SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers) in the United States the Denver Metro SBDCs are charged with the mission of “bringing economic development and growth to their community.” They do that by focusing on one-to-one business consulting and training classes for people who either want to start a business or own a business currently. They had been conducting a 10-week Leading Edge for several years with a good curriculum that consisted of a very large book and work book. The instructors were creative and brought in new material and tried new methods in the classroom. Nancy Barnett, one of the co-founders of eL3 had been teaching the 10-week Leading Edge class at several Denver Metro SBDCs for a few years. After a 25 year career in training and education in a corporate environment she had launched her first business in 2008. Her background and experience told her two things:
- Most of us had been taught to act and think like employees not entrepreneurs and business owners, and
- There were core skill sets that entrepreneurs and business owners needed to learn and implement in order to create, manage and grow successful businesses.
The curriculum uses the “Business Model Canvas” created by Alex Osterwalter in 2007. The canvas is used a springboard to visually create, search and then test for the most financially executable business model. The idea was to teach entrepreneurs not to just write a business plan, but to use a visual tool to build and test an executable and financial viable business model. The curriculum was then tested in the classroom at the North Metro Denver SBDC. It got positive results but was not yet in the right format - UNTIL
She formed a friendship and later a business partnership with Judy Perez who is one of the leaders in K-12 eLearning in the United States. When her curriculum was moved to a Learning Platform by e-learning educators. eL3 was created. The curriculum has been tested, adjusted and improved through the process. The curriculum is now online and available to the student 24-7 on their computer, tablet and smart phone. The weekly class concentrates on application exercises, discussions and expert guest speakers.
eL3, LLC is a training company that offers a flexible and unique entrepreneurship education in a blended learning format using an online learning platform and face to face time. It has been developed not only by Nancy but other small business owners known as Small Business Champions and showcases small business resources, such as government and non-profit organizations dedicated to business growth. The curriculum has been organized on a LMS educational platform by skilled online educators in a format based on student learning best practices. eL3 is an acronym for e-learning entrepreneurial educational programing that blends the above 3 resources (small business champions, government and non-profit resources and professional educators).
The program is currently being used by several SBDC (Small Business Development Centers) in Colorado as the curriculum for their highly successful Leading Edge Business Planning 10-week program. We have also customized this small business educational program in order to be integrated into educational programs that offer technical and professional training, i.e. chiropractic, business management, bookkeeping schools, etc. where many of the students will need to build their own practice. It can also be used as a value-add service for trade and business associations and chambers. The Colorado Department of Transportation has chosen to use the customized industry-specific eL3 Plan Forward curriculum in their Leading Edge Transportation Business Planning 10-week program.
The company can also custom design online training programs for business educators and consultants who want to put their material into an educational format for their target market.
eL3 is developing a blended learning entrepreneurial program for 8th and 10th graders that teaches problem-solving, team building, communication, research and writing skills.
We plan to expand the program in other languages incorporating global entrepreneurial skills within the local culture settings integrating regional community resources.