Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington is accepting applications for the fall 2023 Entrepreneurship Certificate program, which helps students start and run their businesses in just three classes. Current student, Amber Racoma, started Mama Dukes Hawaiian Barbeque with her late mother’s recipes that she began learning as a teenager.

“I cook and serve Hawaiian barbecue food that the locals in Hawaii love to eat with aloha,” she said. “I quit my full-time job in September 2022 to pursue mine and mother’s dream.”

Racoma says the entrepreneurship program has helped her in numerous ways. “This course has provided me so many resources and tools to get my business launched,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting any of this, nor to launch until May.”

Since the first course, Racoma has obtained her LLC, earned her Food Protection Manager Certificate, got into One World Commissary that she learned about on an experiential field trip, and connected with other entrepreneurs. She is in the process of getting her license and additional industry certifications.

Currently, Racoma offers catering service and cooks hot lunches during the week. Her business can be found on Facebook and Instagram at Mama Dukes Hawaiian Barbeque.

Together with the Ivy Tech Bloomington Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and the Indiana Small Business Development Center, the Entrepreneurship program prepares students to get their business off the ground. “We partner to guide students through virtually any aspect of starting and running a business,” Sueann Graham, Ivy Tech Bloomington Garatoni School of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program Chair said. “We also provide opportunities for funding.”

The program has assisted in the launching of numerous businesses across Indiana. “For those who did not start their business right away, they were able to secure a great position in a small business utilizing their entrepreneurial skills,” Graham said.

Ivy Tech’s Entrepreneurship program is offered in partnership with Regional Innovation and Startup Education (RISE), and students are provided resources and networking opportunities to launch a successful startup or grow an existing business. Classes begin Aug. 21.

For more information and to apply, fill out an online inquiry or contact program chair Sueann Graham at sgraham116@ivytech.edu or 812-330-6361.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.