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15 Free Entrepreneurship Programs that Empower Women and Minority-Owned Businesses

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Unlock your potential as a small business owner with free entrepreneurship programs designed specifically for women and minority-owned businesses! Fifteen seasoned professionals, including business coaches and founders, have shared their insights on the top fifteen programs empowering entrepreneurs and fostering growth in diverse business communities. From Dielle Charon's classes to the Women Entrepreneurs Builders Program, discover the myriad of benefits these programs offer and take the first step towards realizing your business dreams.

Free Entrepreneurship Programs for Women and BIPOC

  • eCornell Women's Entrepreneurship Program

  • Dielle Charon's Classes

  • Techstars Diversity in Tech Fellowship

  • Women's Economic Ventures

  • J.P. Morgan Chase's Program

  • The Minority and Women Entrepreneurship Program (MWBE)

  • The Amber Grant 

  • WE Source 

  • Your Local Chamber of Commerce

  • Goldman Sachs' Entrepreneurial Growth Program

  • Echoing Green's Fellowship

  • Ignite My Future in School Program

  • NAWBO's Leadership Development Program

  • Small Business Development Center(SBDC)

  • SheEO's Global Entrepreneur Empowerment

  • Women Entrepreneur's Builders Program

eCornell Women's Entrepreneurship Program

The Women's Entrepreneurship Program offered by Cornell University is designed to assist women in launching and improving their businesses. The program comprises six modules that take you through the process of creating your venture and developing leadership skills for female entrepreneurs. If you want to learn about establishing a legal structure for your business and creating a strong entrepreneurial presence as a female business owner, this free program is an ideal fit for you. It has personally helped me.

Dielle Charon's Classes

You may find that the free classes offered by Dielle Charon are the best option for women and minority-owned businesses. Dielle provides insights based on her own personal experience of starting a business without any support from people who looked like her. Dielle has been able to scale her business to seven figures and is passionate about helping women achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

Techstars' Diversity in Tech Fellowship

One amazing program that helped my small business succeed—and I would recommend it to women- and minority-owned small businesses—is the Diversity in Tech Fellowship by Techstars.

This program is open to female entrepreneurs, underrepresented minorities, and other diverse groups. It offers an intensive three-month accelerator experience, exceptional mentorship from leading tech companies, access to resources and funding opportunities, interactive workshops, and industry experts. 

Plus, it allows you to learn from experienced entrepreneurs who have been through it before—and sometimes even find the right partners for your startup.

Women's Economic Ventures

Women's Economic Ventures, a nonprofit organization based in Santa Barbara, California, provides excellent support for women-owned businesses. I have been in touch with them on multiple occasions, and they have always been very friendly and helpful. They offer a range of resources to assist with funding, marketing, and business operations.

Jason Vaught, Director of Content, SmashBrand

J.P. Morgan Chase's Program

I recently came across J.P. Morgan Chase's free entrepreneurship program for women and minority business owners. This program is revolutionary, especially for small business owners like myself in the blockchain and NFT sectors. It offers theoretical knowledge, practical tools, and insights that are immensely valuable. 

For instance, I attended a strategic financing workshop, which completely transformed my approach to funding and investment. The program's focus on real-world challenges and solutions and the opportunity to network with fellow entrepreneurs make it an indispensable resource.

The Minority and Women Entrepreneurship Program (MWBE)

The Minority and Women Entrepreneurship Program (MWBE) is one of the most beneficial resources for women- and minority-owned businesses. This program offers a wide range of resources geared toward the success of female and minority entrepreneurs. 

These services include free counseling sessions with experienced professionals to help develop business plans; access to capital through loans at low-interest rates; training courses that cover various aspects related to starting a business; assistance in finding mentorships by connecting entrepreneurs with successful local companies; educational workshops on topics like legal structures, sales, marketing strategies, tax information, and financing options; as well as direct grants from Institutional Development Funds.

David Bui, Director and Business Specialist, Schmicko

The Amber Grant 

The Amber Grant, provided by WomensNet, is an excellent opportunity for women- and minority-owned businesses. It awards $10,000 every month to a selected woman-owned business. 

The program also includes additional grants for startups and nonprofits and significant annual awards. The application is straightforward and open to newer businesses, which is especially beneficial for startups. This grant offers financial aid and serves as a platform for recognition, which is crucial for businesses in their early stages.

Nick Sforza, Founder and Digital Marketer, Opvital

WE Source

If you're a woman or a minority-owned business owner looking for a fantastic, free entrepreneurship program, the "WE Source" program by the Women's Enterprise Centre of British Columbia is highly recommended. This program is an absolute gem because it offers a wide range of resources and supports expressly tailored to the unique challenges that women entrepreneurs face.

WE Source provides access to expert business advisors, online learning modules, and networking opportunities that can be game-changers for small business owners. The best part? It's free! The program empowers women and minorities by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the competitive business world. 

As someone passionate about supporting diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship, I find this program incredibly beneficial for fostering growth and creating a supportive community for women- and minority-owned businesses.

Samantha Odo, Real Estate Sales Representative and Montreal Division Manager, Precondo

Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Local Chambers of Commerce initiatives offer free entrepreneurship programs for women and minority-owned businesses. These programs provide education, networking opportunities, and advocacy, benefiting small-business owners by connecting them to local resources and support systems. 

For example, our Chamber of Commerce offers a program called "Empower Her Business" that provides free business workshops, mentorship, and access to local business networks. This initiative not only equips women and minority entrepreneurs with essential knowledge and skills but also creates a supportive community where they can exchange ideas, collaborate, and access potential customers and investors.

Goldman Sachs' Entrepreneurial Growth Program

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program is a free entrepreneurship program open to women- and minority-owned businesses. This program offers small-business owners access to education, capital, and support services to help them grow their businesses. It also provides networking opportunities with other business owners and industry experts. 

This program benefits small-business owners by offering valuable resources and support to help them overcome challenges and barriers to success. The program's education component provides business owners with knowledge and skills related to marketing, financial management, leadership, and other key areas of entrepreneurship. 

Access to capital can provide much-needed funding for growth and expansion opportunities. The networking aspect allows business owners to connect with like-minded individuals and experts who can offer guidance and support.

Echoing Green's Fellowship

The Echoing Green Fellowship is an uncommon example of a free entrepreneurship program open to female and minority-owned businesses. It offers financial support, mentoring, and professional development opportunities for social entrepreneurs leading their own startups. 

This program provides these aspiring entrepreneurs the resources to launch innovative solutions to pressing global problems while building their networks and allowing them space to grow. 

The Echoing Green Fellowship is particularly well-suited for small business owners because of its long-term potential; besides monetary resources, it serves as a platform to bring new ideas to fruition and sharpen leadership skills through invaluable support from peers and advisors alike.

Ignite My Future in School Program

Being a female founder, the free "Ignite My Future in School" program offered by Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education has been a game-changer. 

Its focus on infusing computational thinking strategies into everyday lessons resonated. The program's strategies prove beneficial in assimilating technology into our curriculum, paving the path for innovative thinking. It is like fuel to our ambition, encouraging us to push boundaries and explore new horizons in education.

Nooran Zafarmand, Co-Founder and CEO, Japamana

NAWBO's Leadership Development Program

There are many entrepreneurship programs, but one that stands out as open to women and minority-owned businesses is the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. This program provides a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on developing leadership skills, creating strategic plans, and fostering growth in all aspects of business. 

It also offers mentorship opportunities with successful entrepreneurs and access to valuable resources, such as networking events and workshops. This program benefits small business owners by providing practical education and support and promoting diversity and inclusivity in the business world. 

By participating in this program, women and minority-owned businesses can connect with like-minded individuals and gain the necessary skills and resources to thrive in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

As an entrepreneur in the United States, you can access the Small Business Development Center, which offers no-cost, one-on-one startup and management consulting. With nearly 1,000 local centers nationwide, the SBDC fosters small business growth and development, providing essential resources to new and existing businesses.

In Michigan, the SBDC's Uplift program stands out for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. It's designed to give diverse entrepreneurs equitable access, tackling critical challenges like funding, professional networking, and growth strategies. 

Uplift offers personalized support, financial literacy education, and a vast network of connections with culturally and linguistically inclusive resources. This makes it a particularly invaluable asset for underrepresented small business owners, helping them navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship.

SheEO's Global Entrepreneur Empowerment

When it comes to empowering women and minority-owned businesses, one free entrepreneurship program that stands out is SheEO's Global Activator Program. This innovative program empowers female entrepreneurs with knowledge, resources, and access to a supportive global community of professionals.

This program provides invaluable educational training in marketing, product development, operations planning, financial management, and more—all delivered online by some of the world's top business experts. Entrepreneurs joining this program also gain access to a robust network of mentors to help them develop and grow their businesses.

Women Entrepreneur's Builders Program

The Builders Program by Women Entrepreneur is an excellent resource, especially for women entrepreneurs. It's a self-paced online course to learn at your convenience. The first course, "Risk-Taking & Entrepreneurship," is free and focuses on the unique role of women in business and culture, highlighting why women are natural brand builders.

This course offers insights from various innovators and leaders, including the world's greatest free climber and a neuroscientist, providing tips on risk-taking. It includes practical exercises and worksheets, helping you develop and refine your business strategy. 

This program is ideal for those thinking about starting a business or wanting to expand an existing one. It's also useful for gaining a cultural understanding of women in business, which can benefit personal and professional growth. This program is an excellent opportunity for women entrepreneurs to learn, grow, and advance their businesses.

Precious Abacan, Digital Marketing Manager, Softlist

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ArRicca RicCol
ArRicca RicCol
18 déc. 2023
Noté 4 étoiles sur 5.

This is amazing information. I will be taking full advantage.

Annette Harris
Annette Harris
18 déc. 2023
En réponse à

I'm glad you found it useful. I've used many of these resources, including eCornell's Women Entrepreneurship Program. There are so many more. 🙂

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