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College Forum Brings Together Business Owners, Starters

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A new program at Baruch College seeks to teach people how to create a job rather than find one. NY1's Asa Aarons filed the following report.

Can't find a job? Create one. That's one message coming from the Baruch College program "Assessing Opportunity: A Business Assistance Forum." It included classes on things like using social media to start or expand your business. The forum is one way the college is reaching out to both established and new members of the business community.

"Folks who are thinking about starting a business, folks who are in business, folks who are struggling, folks who are doing well. We have all services that will be important to your business," said Monica Dean of Baruch College.

Entrepreneurs draw their inspiration from everywhere. Take Peter Passante and his wife for instance. They started Positively Organic baby clothes after his wife gave a homemade gift at a baby shower.

"The woman who received the gift loved them and also all these other women at the baby shower loved them too and started asking her to make them either clothes for their baby or stuff to give at other baby showers," Passante said.

The clothes are made from pesticide-free cotton and other natural materials.

Jennifer Brown of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, which encourages growth and creativity to thousands of businesses in that area, says she is quite optimistic about what she is seeing.

"Entrepreneurial spirit is at its highest as it's ever been even with the economy. I think people, they look at people like the founder of Facebook, and some of these role models that they have that have been able to start their own businesses," Brown said.

Beyond techno knowledge, starting a business requires a rare combination of drive and creativity -- qualities that led Lida Orzeck to create Hanky Panky, a daring and extremely successful line of women's undergarments.

She says whether self-employed or on someone else's payroll, a work ethic will take you far.

"Being the very, very, very best, committed, open-minded worker you can be. You will be noticed and you will be promoted. That's almost a guarantee," said Orzeck.

To find out more about future seminars or some of the services at Baruch College, visit www.baruch.cuny.edu.

Ask Asa

If you have an employment story, a job, a new interview technique, or something you want to share with those looking for work or those doing the hiring, contact Asa Aarons at askasa@ny1.com.

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