The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) offers a vast array of courses and workshops year round. For upcoming workshops and events, please click here. When looking for start-up workshops in the current calendar, be sure to look for these icons:
Workshops for all business levels
Select from the list below for full descriptions of courses offered year round:
Are You Ready for a Government Contract?
This workshop focuses on determining if your business is at the right stage to pursue opportunities with government agencies and how to market your business to them. Learn the steps to identify contract opportunities, including which website to visit to find bid opportunities.
Are You Ready for a Government Contract is offered both as a webinar and in person. Please check the current Calendar of Events for upcoming classes.
Starting a business? Exploring expansion of an existing business? The FastTrac NewVenture Business Development Program takes you where you want to go. You'll leave this 12-week program with a vision for success and in-depth, action-oriented business skills to raise capital and steer business growth.
- Entrepreneurial and interactive learning experiences facilitated by a Professional, Certified Coach and enhanced by guest entrepreneurs and experts
- An opportunity to hone skills needed to create, manage, and grow a successful business
- A supportive environment to build your business ideas, work on improving your business, and establish a foundation for future decision-making
- Networking and one-on-one business counseling
- An opportunity to construct your business plan
The WBDC is the only site in the Midwest currently offering the FastTrac NewVenture program, developed by the Kauffman Foundation.
Is Certification Right for You?
Have you been asked, “Are you certified as a minority or woman-owned business?” by corporations and government agencies? If so, and you don’t know where to start, this workshop is for you. Presented by the Certification Program Manager, you will learn:
- The differences and benefits of Minority (MBE) and Women (WBE) owned business certifications on Federal, State, Local and Private levels
- Benefits and process of WBE certification offered by the Women’s Business Development Center through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
- What certification you should obtain based on your business needs
Is Certification Right for You is offered both as a webinar and in person. Please check the current Calendar of Events for upcoming classes.
Starting a Business in Illinois
Are you considering starting a business in Illinois? Put yourself ahead of the curve by attending this workshop to gain the knowledge you need to assist with a successful launch. After this workshop you will be better able to address:
- Whether business ownership is right for you
- Exploring personal feasibility and how owning a business will impact your life
- The transition of moving from employee, volunteer, homemaker and/or independent contractor to business owner
- How to determine which legal entity is right for you
Take the Mystery out of Finance
Are you in the process of building a new business or expanding your existing business? Take the Mystery out of Finance can help you:
- Prepare a start-up budget
- Prepare a cash flow projection
- Determine what financing options are available to you
- Learn what you need to know about your credit and how it relates to your business finances
- Discover alternative financing opportunities
This workshop will provide real world examples and ask questions you may have avoided asking previously. From the Five C’s: cash flow, collateral, capital, character and conditions to detailed information about financing through equity, debt, receivables, purchase order and leasing.
Register now to familiarize yourself with industry terms and be better prepared for potential questions your investors or lending institution may ask. Plus, have your questions answered by the WBDC’s director of access to capital programs Eva Brown.
Take the Mystery out of Finance is offered both as a webinar and in person the third Tuesday of the month. Please check the current Calendar of Events for upcoming classes.
Wisdom, Wine and Cheese: Introduction to WBDC Services
This interactive, networking session is for both prospective and established business owners. Whether you’re thinking about starting your own business or growing the business you already have, this session will help you clarify your needs and learn more about WBDC resources. If you’re looking for assistance in pursuing government or corporate contracts, need financing to grow your business, or just need guidance to learn how to work ON your business, come join the WBDC circle of help! We are here for you throughout your journey of entrepreneurship!
Please check the current Calendar of Events for upcoming dates.