Ohio State Navbar

Program for Acquiring Competence in Entrepreneurship (PACE)

The American economy needs both big and small businesses to survive and prosper. Small businesses, as a whole, contribute greatly to the growth and renewal of regional and national economies. It is the entrepreneurs who bring that prosperity through their ingenuity and creativity. To prepare individuals for success as entrepreneurs, CETE has released the fourth edition of the Program for Acquiring Competence in Entrepreneurship (PACE).

Many entrepreneurs have the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities in a specific trade to provide services or supply products. They may even have a prototype or field-tested product. However, potential entrepreneurs may lack the resources, basic business acumen, or knowledge of where to turn for assistance to develop a viable business enterprise with their skills or products. PACE provides entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources to start and manage a business.

PACE targets the adult workforce and community college and technical school students as well as independent workers wanting to start their own businesses. Most business startups are in the trades, construction, basic services, basic manufacturing, food, and transportation industries. PACE focuses on these types of small business ventures.


When first published in the late 1980s, PACE emphasized that entrepreneurship was based as much on sound planning as having products and services that were responsive to the marketplace. Through its various revisions, PACE continued to concentrate on the general importance of planning and managing the startup of a small business.

The current PACE edition represents a necessary break from past versions in both its format and content. The text has been substantially changed from paragraphs to a series of related sections with subheadings. This revision allows readers to have greater accessibility to the information, whether it is delivered via a printed booklet or a technology-based approach. Also, the format allows the instructor/facilitator to have greater flexibility in selecting content to accommodate the needs of various audiences and settings.

In regards to the content, PACE continues to emphasize the importance of planning and managing a small business. However, it now includes a renewed focus on meeting customer expectations. A business cannot exist without a comprehensive understanding of who purchases its products or services. In this sense, PACE introduces the topic of conducting e-commerce. Until recently, the entrepreneurial horizon may have been limited to serving local customers only. The advent of the Internet offers the promise of serving more customers but not without the accompanying challenges.

A bonus to the fourth edition includes resources available in each of the 50 states for entrepreneurs to access technical assistance, regulations, and licensing information. The material lists websites and phone numbers for state and other agencies supporting the development of small businesses.


Supported in part by a grant from The Ohio State University Extension in partnership with OSU South Centers - Piketon, the fourth edition of PACE not only provides more information for entrepreneurs but also provides the flexibility in the delivery of information, so individuals and institutions can obtain the specific information they need to be successful. All PACE materials are available on CD or in print. The 22 PACE modules also are available individually or grouped in three clusters. Entrepreneurs can obtain information on specific topics and gain the desired knowledge they need. Community colleges and technical schools can enhance and supplement their current entrepreneurship and small business management courses, create new courses, and develop seminars and workshops. We hope that PACE will provide you with the understanding necessary to achieve your entrepreneurship goals.