Business Start-Up Training
Training for early stage businesses
Entrepreneurial training program and resources to support individuals 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 its inception in 2012, this program has served more than 300 businesses.
Spring 2021 Application Cycle Now Open
Business Training cohorts are 4 to 10-week immersive business training programs comprised of specialized workshops, training, and resources facilitated in conjunction with the Illinois Small Business Development Center at West Side Forward as well as the Neighborhood Business Center.
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 these programs participate in a series of highly specialized 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.
The 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 ID or recent utility bill
• Introductory Business Case Video 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 a series of presentations 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
May 3rd - May 28th, 2021
Did you have a functioning business that was impacted by COVID-19? Need help rethinking your business idea and strategy? It's time to re-examine your business, the current business climate and help you identify key adjustments required to succeed in this new economy.
June 7th - June 28th, 2021
Forget what you thought you knew about starting a business. Whether you’ve already got a business going or you’re interested in starting one, let’s start fresh to make sure your business has a solid foundation to grow and make money.
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