The Microenterprise Program is social benefit organization designed to help some of the most economically disadvantaged individuals in our cities. Partnering with homeless shelters, and other community development agencies, the Program provides a 15 week business and entrepreneurial training program for residents of the shelters. The Program also works in collaboration with universities providing each client with a team of students who serve as business mentors. Participants who complete the program leave with a professional resume and cover letter, networking and interviewing skills and a business plan for a small or "micro" business.
Each year we recruit up to 30 new participants over the course of the year. To be considered for the Program an applicant must be recommended to us by a case manager or program manager and complete our "Participant Application." Once we receive the recommendation and application we interview the applicants selecting the top 20-30 applicants. Once accepted into the program each client is put on a team with 2 - 3 university students who work with the client to create a business plan for a small business.
The Program’s curriculum begins with a workshop on Idea Generation followed by an initial Feasibly Analysis before beginning the process of writing a business plan. The Program also provides additional trainings on Personal Development and Career Development. The Program’s curriculum is presented by program staff, university professors, industry professionals and other successful businessmen and women.
The Graduation Ceremony
The program culminates with a Graduation ceremony during which participants get to showcase their products and/or services, fastpitch their ideas to potential investors and receive a certificate of completion from the Program. Select graduates of the program who are ready and able to launch their business are also provided three months of access to an incubator facility to develop their branding and prototype the products. The facility provides them with office space to operate the business including storage space for inventory and equipment, workspace to build and prototype products as well as business mentors to help them take the next steps in launching the business.