ADA - The Community Economic Development Center at Ohio Northern University will hold six noncredit certification classes beginning in January. Classes are free and open to the public, and all events begin at 6:30 p.m.

Classes range in length from one to six weeks, and each class focuses on general topics relating to the development of a business. The classes range from exploring self-employment to computer literacy.

The "Exploring Self-Employment" class, scheduled for Jan. 9, Feb. 6 and March 21, is geared towards individuals looking to start a new business or meet other new entrepreneurs in the area. This single-session class is offered on multiple occasions throughout the year.

"Financial Literacy" moves beyond the basics of bookkeeping to cover the underlying fundamentals of a small business's finances. This class dives into economic, accounting and investment principles to help participants make educated choices in their small businesses. The class will be held on Jan. 10 and 17.

"Marketing for a Small Business," held Jan. 23 and Jan. 30, introduces area entrepreneurs to marketing and the tools needed to help their businesses get recognized in the community.

"Writing a Business Plan" gives both new and experienced business owners step-by-step instructions on how to write a concise business plan. The course will be held Wednesdays from Feb. 13 to March 20.

"Computer Literacy" is a six-week noncredit course that teaches the basics of Windows and Microsoft Office. Individuals will learn the best Internet search techniques as well as basic operations in the Microsoft Suite. Small-business applications will take precedence; however, you do not need to be an entrepreneur to attend the course. This class will be held Thursdays from Jan. 24 to Feb. 28.

The "Human Resources" course, held March 6 and March 13, will cover small business human resource best practices and related laws and can assist with managing employees or the process of hiring new employees.

The Community Economic Development Center supports emerging and growing businesses by offering free one-on-one counseling to assist with business planning, marketing, bookkeeping, paperwork filings, and identification of lenders or investors. Through Ohio Northern University's James F. Dicke College of Business Administration, noncredit certification classes and monthly workshops are offered to develop business and civic leaders to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset and create opportunities in and around central and Northwest Ohio.