Is your business growing fast enough? Grow My Business (GMB) is EWI’s program designed to increase your personal understanding and effectiveness in the business arena, and promote and accelerate sales of your products and services. It is a unique opportunity to receive professional and peer support, and requires a great deal of dedication on your part. This six-month training and peer support program is perfect for anyone with a well-honed business plan who is serious about reaching the next level of personal and financial success.
What is the program about?
GMB is a six-month business development program designed for ETS graduates and other women who have already initiated their own startup micro-businesses. Through twice-monthly classes, one-on-one expert coaching, and online peer support, 25-30 participants annually work on business formation, implementing their business plans, and developing marketing strategies.
GMB is designed to increase business know-how and effectiveness, as well as accelerate sales of products and services. Participants set sales goals, track their financial results, and give monthly presentations about their progress. GMB students also participate in a business pitch event. Scheduling and location are based on client demand.
In GMB all students attend the following sessions: one 2.5 hour session a month in business development, one 2.5 hour session a month in financial education, and one session of one-on-one coaching a month in financial aspects, marketing or any business aspects.
Additional support is provided outside GMB by EWI professional business volunteer coaches and students are being referred to other organizations to meet special needs the students might have.
Selected ETS graduates and other women entrepreneurs are eligible for this program, and must go through an interview and application process. In order to be eligible, clients must have:
- Vetted business plan
- Registered business, social business or non-profit organization
- Financial tracking system in place (profit and loss)
- Selling products or services for at least one year prior to enrollment or at the discretion of the GMB instructor
Sometimes our students develop a different idea for a business than the one they wrote for the ETS program. Tell us about the new plan! Much of what you learned in ETS will be applicable.
- Reliable access to computer, printer and internet
- Involvement in EWI workshops and extra business development services
- Commitment of at least 20 hours a week to their business
All graduates are required to give back 20 hours service within one year after the graduation.
How is GMB different from Entrepreneur Training for Success (ETS)?
EWI’s ETS program is designed to help women learn about “what it takes” to be an entrepreneur, conduct deep research on their business ideas, and plan their businesses.
GMB assumes that the business is launched and established, but now needs to grow and thrive with further research and an even more serious commitment to goals. The difference can be compared to undergraduate versus graduate level education. GMB is a monthly seminar format, which involves lots of participation and leadership from members.
When and where is the class taught?
Class Schedule: End of March 2018 to July 2018, Every other Wednesday 6:30 p. m. to 9:00 p. m.
Location: Financial Empowerment Center 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309
Class Schedule: End of February 2018 to June 2018, Every other Tuesday, 6:30 p. m. to 9:00 p. m.
Location: EWI Rockville Office at the Nonprofit Village, 12320 Parklawn Dr., Rockville, MD 20852
In GMB all students attend the following sessions: one 2.5 hour session a month in business development, one 2.5 hour session a month in financial education, and one session of one-on-one coaching a month in financial aspects, marketing or any business aspects. Mentoring phone calls and occasional meet-ups will also be required. All seminars are mandatory!
What will I learn?
GMB will target the many aspects of starting a business and ask you to revisit basic questions: Who are your customers? What have you learned to date about them and what changes should you consider to your business approach? What is your product/service and how can quality be improved? How will financing help you and what sources are open to you? What can you do to improve your marketing and sales techniques? Will hiring some assistance or outsourcing be cost-effective? Advice will be provided by classmates, instructors and mentors. You will need to be open-minded and practice some risk-taking! Remember that your original business plan is a work in progress – all businesses must evolve and grow according to the information your customers and the economic climate provide.
How much study/homework time is required?
Assume that you will spend 6 to 8 hours each month on various assignments, which will include Internet study (selected online courses and resources to view and respond to), research, and journal-keeping. The journal will help you track your ideas and reflections as you evolve your business and personal effectiveness. Also assume that you will be working on your business and GMB coursework for at least 20 hours per week. This primarily means product development time, researching the competition, marketing time, and sales time. Otherwise, you can’t possibly meet your goals. The time spent will be recorded in your journal and will be shared with a partner in class to make sure everyone is on track.
What kind of support will I receive?
Two experienced course facilitators will be your primary support in class. Your group of peer entrepreneurs in the program is your immediate network of support and idea exchange. Additional mentors are available through EWI Business Support Services. You can request a mentoring session by phone or in-person with professional mentors who have the most knowledge in your area of interest. EWI has a wide range of partnerships with entrepreneurs, community programs and resource volunteers to help you with various aspects of your business including social media, graphics production, financial planning, etc. Some of these resources are pro-bono and others for a fee. We will be expecting YOU to request help as the program is designed for self-motivated women!
Cost and Scholarships
The total cost of the program is $2,250 per participant and is largely covered by donations and grants. Because of this, EWI is able to offer some full and partial scholarships based on need.
Scholarships are awarded to eligible students who meet the low-income requirements as defined below, who have a viable business idea, are committed to follow EWI’s program, and have a strong motivation to succeed.
To demonstrate low-income eligibility, applicants must provide proof on income during the interview in the form of tax returns, paystubs, unemployment benefits or other verifying documentation of their financial situation. Income level is based on gross yearly pay. When determining the course fee, EWI staff will take into consideration family size as well as other information pertaining to financial hardship (medical bills, outstanding debt, etc.).
Scholarship amounts are determined based on a sliding scale fee structure using HUD guidelines for household income and size.
Scholarships are determined after the applicant’s in-person interview.
If you do not qualify under EWI’s low-income eligibility requirement but feel you would still benefit from our program, please apply and we will evaluate your need and contact you with our decision.
Apply for Grow My Business
- Fill out the online EWI Program Inquiry Form.
- Schedule and attend an in-person interview
- Bring proof of household income and materials that show your business idea
- Confirm your acceptance in the program, if selected
- Complete the new member student intake form
Current students: click here to pay your tuition and base fee.