A market access assistance program designed to connect disadvantaged entrepreneurs to contract opportunities.

The Entrepreneurship Institute

The institute offers training workshops and multi-week courses to help entrepreneurs increase their business knowledge.



ConnectWorks is our strategy to leverage anchor-based/private sector procurement to drive economic inclusion. We partner with key stakeholders in the region and institutional procurement teams to create access to contract opportunity for disadvantaged businesses (DBEs). Since 2010, over 200 contracts valued at over $60M have been the result, in addition to hundreds of firms who have seen their capacity increased around financial acumen, bidding and estimating, human resources, legal, marketing and social media. We currently partner with the Louisiana Alliance for Economic Inclusion and the New Orleans Business Alliance in this work.

Advanced Business Planning
This 10-week course is for entrepreneurs who are in operation and generating revenue with their businesses. Powered by the NxLevel curriculum, this course aims to help with planning for business growth and developing a written business plan that can be used for loan applications or to present to potential investors. Topics covered include legal structure, organizational structure, market research, marketing strategy, financial planning, financing and capital access, management, and growth strategy. A one-hour one-on-one technical assistance session is included with enrollment. Students will leave the class with a written business plan and a 12-month work plan to guide their next steps.
Please check our events calendar for upcoming dates and registration information.

Level Up!
Level Up! is a six-month program that prepares high-potential, minority-owned businesses for accelerated growth and expansion. Utilizing the internationally-recognized StreetWise MBA™ curriculum developed by Interise, participants of this program will join a cohort of peers and take part in class sessions, peer to peer mentoring groups, and self-analysis case studies. Participants will have a chance to access large corporations for partnership opportunities and walk away with a three-year strategic growth plan with the knowledge and know-how of how to execute it. Level Up! helps firms overcome growth barriers, create access to new opportunities, and connects them with the right resources to fuel growth and build capacity. We are currently seeking applicants for the 2020 cohort of Level Up! If you are interested and want to apply, click here to learn more. The application deadline is February 29, 2020.

QuickBooks for Beginners
An 8-hour seminar to introduce students to the QuickBooks software. The first half of the course focuses on basic accounting principles and financial record keeping systems that all business owners should understand. During the second half of the seminar students learn the functions and features of the QuickBooks software and practice making entries and running reports. The course includes 8 hours of group instruction, 2 hours of one-on-one Technical Assistance, and a copy of the software.




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