Business Start-Up Training
Training for early stage businesses
Rigorous 12 week business training program to support entrepreneurs in launching business operations, becoming licensed and legally structured.
Business Start-Up Training program is designed to provide expert guidance, training and support to minimize risk and maximize business launch success while providing access to an exclusive micro-loan fund post completion for individuals who live in and start their businesses in designated communities primarily on the West Side of Chicago. Since inception in 2012 this program has served 300 businesses.
Application period has closed for Cohort #17
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Business Start-Up is a 12 week business training program comprised of specialized workshops, trainings and resources facilitated in conjunction with the Illinois Small Business Development Center at West Side Forward.
This entrepreneurship training program is for serious entrepreneurs who:
This program is geared toward for-profit enterprises and entrepreneurs who want to start a new business, owners of informally run businesses who want to become licensed and legally structured, and owners of existing businesses less than five years old that want to expand or standardize their business operations. Entrepreneurs selected for this highly competitive program participate in 12 weeks of sessions on business plans, marketing, financing, accounting, risk management, legal issues, and more, followed by a year of personal mentoring from a business leader. Qualified participants are also eligible for low-interest loans up to $10,000 for a start-up business and $30,000 for an existing business from CIBC Bank upon graduation.
Special consideration is given to applicants that reside or seek to operate their business on the West Side of Chicago, have businesses in the manufacturing industry.
Applications are accepted electronically only. Application process includes:
• Signed release form for performing a credit check (soft pull)
• Copy of a valid driver’s license or state identification
• Proof of current address on above ID or recent utility bill
• Copy of GED, transcripts or diploma from highest level of education completed, if possible.
• Business Case presentation (5-7 minute presentation)
To enroll, applicants must meet a specific set of criteria. The criteria outlined below are the starting point for screening, but West Side Forward reserves the right to adjust these criteria as we determine the demand and capacity of the students to meet these criteria. They are as follows:
BUSINESS CASE PRESENTATION
Selected applicants will be required to present their business idea in 5-7 minute presentation for our Make Your Case panels. During the presentation you will be expected to present your business idea and make your case for why your business is viable or posed for growth, and explain how your participation in the class will help your business reach that next level.
WHAT TO EXPECT IF ACCEPTED
Click here to apply for Business Start-Up Training.
EXPECTATIONS UPON SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM COMPLETION
WEEKLY CLASS OUTLINE
Students that attend and participate in at least 10 of the 13 sessions (which include 10 training and 2 presentation session), write an acceptable business plan with financial projections, and complete a presentation will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion and consideration for a micro-loan.
Class topics (tentative order) for the 12 week session include:Week 1 Establishing Unique Value Proposition and Capital Access Readiness
Week 2 Mission and Vision Mapping
Week 3 Market Industry Research and Target Market Identification
Week 4 Operational Strategy
Week 5 Business Finance Fundamentals I
Week 6 Business Finance Fundamentals II
Week 7 Marketing and Branding Strategy
Week 8 Legal Structure and Insurance
Week 9 Revenue and Sales Strategy
Week 10 Presentation Pitch Preparation
Week 11 Final Student Presentations
Week 12 Final Student Presentations
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