by Jeanie Riess
New Orleans is looking like a good place to be for up and coming entrepreneurs over the next few weeks. Two conferences, both free, are setting up shop in town, each offering instruction in business development.
Beginning tonight, Operation Hope, a financial literacy nonprofit, will host a 12-week series of free, 90-minute classes for developing business plans. The program is interactive, with quizzes, tests and self-assessments. There's even a graduation at the end of the course. It takes place at the Jane O'Brien Chatelain West Bank Regional Library (2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, (504) 364-2660).
On Jan. 22, Entrepreneur Magazine is bringing a host of digital strategists, entrepreneurs and other experts in the field to New Orleans for Growthcon, a free, day-long conference at the Morial Convention Center. Local entrepreneurs Tim Williamson (Co-founded of The Idea Village) will be on hand to hear elevator pitches and give advice, as will Amy Cosper, Entrepreneur's Editor-in-Chief (and recently named one of Fast Company's 25 smartest women on Twitter) and a half dozen others. There will also be a chance to network with small business owners.