Starting Out

If you're at the exploration stage, or ready to start a business, you’ll need to take steps that will increase the odds of a successful launch. The WBDC Business Start-Up Program, consisting of workshops, group consults and individual business counseling, simplifies the process by guiding you through it one step at a time.

Step 1: Find out how the WBDC can support you in starting a business

  • Look over the broad range of marketing, business planning, financial and legal workshop opportunities currently offered in our Course Offerings.
  • If you’re in the Chicago area, stop in for a Wisdom, Wine & Cheese event to learn how the WBDC can assist you. Click here to see current event dates.
  • Consider signing up for an individualized, in-person session to explore the feasibility of your business idea and figure out how best to use all the ways WBDC can help you launch or grow your business. Call 312.853.3477 x 0 to schedule an appointment.

Step 2: Enroll in one of the WBDC’s Business Development Series

  • Plan for Profit: A Series of 12 Sessions in 3 Modules that takes start-ups and emerging businesses through a hands-on approach to drafting business plans.  
  • Developing Your Child Care Business: A 10-week program that delivers all the information you'll need to start your own child care business

Step 3: Participate in free Business Plan Writing Clinics

  • You’ve completed Plan for Profit and are now ready to brainstorm and further develop your business plan
  • You have a written draft of your business plan and are looking to improve and complete it
  • Groups are limited in size to ensure quality time spent discussing each business
  • Facilitated by an expert WBDC business coach to guide the group in the right direction

Call 312.853.3477 x 0 to register.

Step 4: Register for Individual Business Counseling

  • You have a first draft of your business plan
  • Time to discuss specifics and receive real world expertise on topics ranging from business development to marketing and finance
Have questions? Email us at


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