May 5th through May 11th is National Small Business Week 2019. The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Western Illinois University alongside the Henry Hill Correctional Center designed and taught a business entrepreneurship program for offenders where they learned about starting their business, preparing their financials and business plans and how to successfully manage a business. The eight-week class recently held its graduation for six Henry Hill inmates. At the graduation, participants received their certificates and business plans they had each worked on. Jim Boyd, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Western Illinois University told WIU-TV: “From the first class – like any class, nobody said anything….there were no questions….to the last class, they were actually able to stand up in front of people and talk about what their business was. I think we built some confidence that this is feasible – that you can do this. You have to work at it. There are going to be struggles (with a small business). But you can do it. There are going to be some successes out of this – I will almost guarantee it.” Business ideas ranged from restaurants, landscaping, and barbershops. The next round of classes will begin on Monday, May 13th. Boyd expects upwards to 20-30 participants for the next round.