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Top Business Education Programs

Updated on December 13, 2019

10,000 Small Businesses


Free four-month program for business owners who qualify that offers 13 seminars in every area of business. Participants are required to create a realistic five-year growth plan with the help of a Business Analyst and multiple seminar leaders. In 2009, the US economy was entering the Great Recession and small businesses across the nation were struggling. Goldman Sachs saw what was happening and chose to do something about it. Since then more than 8,000 business owners around the country have taken advantage of the opportunity at multiple locations throughout the county with impressive results.


  • Employ a minimum of four full-time employees
  • Revenue of at least $150,000 in the most recent fiscal year.
  • Operating for a minimum of two-years
  • Operate in predominantly in underserved markets


The Catapult program offers a free seven-month accelerator program designed to educate minority, woman, and veteran owned businesses who are facing a large business challenge. Participants complete coursework, attend workshops, and have one-on-one meetings with experts. Graduates have outlined an innovative and/or technical solution to the problem they brought to the program. Participants are given the opportunity to compete for a $20,000 cash grant based on a 10-minute presentation outlining their solution.


  • Be certified as a diverse-owned business by: WBENC, NMSDC, NaVOBA, NGLCC, or Disability: IN
  • Have been operational for three or more years
  • Have a minimum annual revenue of $750,000 but less than $20,000,000
  • Be in need of solving a complex business problem or creating a new product or service


Interise provides free or low cost Emerging Leaders programs for local SBA programs throughout the US. This nine-month program is designed to assist small business owners who are hoping to grow and hire new workers through specialized workshops in many areas of business. Participants graduate with a three-year business plan that focuses on strategic growth.


  • Annual revenues of at least $250,000 to $500,000 depending on the program
  • Employs a minimum of one other person
  • Doing business or considering doing business with the government
  • Minimum of three to five years in business depending on the program


Selected participants are invited to be a part of a year-long free program using a $5,000 grant to access business education offered by Babson College and the 10,000 Small Business program. The Foundation provides a peer-to-peer network to support entrepreneurs in addition to business education workshops. The program is supported by Bank of America and is designed to assist participants in becoming successful and sustainable small businesses by providing access to capital, beneficial networking, and business education.:


  • Woman-owned or co-owned business
  • Established and operating for a minimum of one-year
  • At least one employee
  • Early-stage entrepreneur with at least $25,000 in revenue in the most recent year
  • Committed to business growth


Federal Market Acceleration Program

Know as FedMAP™, this completely free program offers coaching, online, and peer learning seminars to small businesses that want to grow through government contracting. As of 2019, 23.8% of the Federal budget is set aside specifically for small businesses. Much of that money is earmarked for businesses owned by veterans, minorities, and women or businesses established in underserved areas. Getting the first contract is often the biggest challenge for newcomers. Accepted participants are assisted in overcoming the hurdles to bid on one contract opportunity. Each cohort spends 4 months developing and implementing a Capture Strategy Plan that is likely to be a winner. Graduates can then use the strategies, tools, and skills they learn to "capture" more projects.


  • Woman, Vet, Minority-owned or co-owned and/or HUB Zone certified businesses
  • Established and operating
  • Selected government contracting opportunity for which the business is well qualified



This United Way program built in collaboration with Accenture works with would-be entrepreneurs excited about starting a new for-profit or non-profit social venture. Candidates compete for limited placement. The 10-month program provides a wide variety of services key to start-up success for organizations that want to make a positive social impact. The GroundFloor program also offers some seed funding to participants who successfully complete the program. The program offers an initial assessment followed by a boot camp intensive, one-on-one coaching, and the opportunity to participate in other educational and networking events.


  • For-profit or non-profit entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial start-up intent on making a positive social impact
  • Clear vision and purpose
  • Exciting pitch
  • Willingness to complete the program

© 2019 Sheryl Hardin


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