Empowering Small Business Seminar Series

Our seminar series consists 10-weeks of sessions. Sessions run 2.5 hrs. and will be held at convenient times, such as evenings, making attendance feasible for individuals who might have work conflicts.

We feel that our unique prescribed curriculum of a 10-week seminar series combined with a mentoring program offers the best chance of your journey to successful small business ownership being a successful one.  Our relationship with the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC), a non-profit with over 1,000 members,  dedicated to advocating for the rights of  small business owners in Illinois is another of the things that makes us unique.  We are able to offer participants in the Empowering Small Business Seminar Series program access to the resources and connection possibilities the members of the SBAC provides.

Topics include:


What’s Your Vision

  • What’s your vision?
  • What will my business do better than the competition?
  • Nuts & Bolts of Business Planning


  • Business Set-up – first legal steps Insurance
  • LLC vs Inc vs Partnership – what’s the difference, which one to choose
  • Where can you find more information on these subjects?

Hiring & Building Your Team

  • How to hire your team to fit your vision?
  • Do they fit your culture?
  • Training
  • Conditional hiring
  • Evaluation

Employment laws & Insurance

  • Employment Laws – overview and where to find more information
  • What is your responsibility as an employer?
  • Providing benefits and options as a small business re: insurance, retirement benefits, employment taxes, etc.
  • How to protect your personal assets.

Financing Sources

  • Crowdfunding
  • Borrowing
  • How to talk to a bank
  • What’s the difference? Benefits/pitfalls to all. When to choose each one.


  • Website – do I need one? If so, what kind.
  • Social media
  • Other marketing – public relations, direct response, etc.
  • Best advertising avenues for your business types
  • What works, what doesn’t?
  • Do I need a marketing plan?
  • Branding and working with a graphic designer.

What does a business plan look like?

  • What is the purpose of the business plan? Why do I need one?
  • Overview of parts of a business plan
  • What is the appropriate timing to write a plan in relation to when I wish to open a business?
  • Who do I share the plan with?

Writing Your Business Plan

  • Writing your business plan (workbook will be provided)
  • Meet your mentor
  • Review business plan

How To Tell & Sell Your Story 

Forms & Resources & Reading Lists

  • Where to acquire forms
  • Suggested Reading List
  • Review SBAC resources and membership benefits
  • Graduation ceremony

Participants who complete the entire series will receive:

  • graduation certificate (and ceremony)
  • discounted 1-year SBAC membership
  • a mentor
  • support to find funding
  • invitations to alumni events

Thanks To Our Sponsors