WARF UpStart Program for Minority and Women’s Entrepreneurship

The WARF UpStart Program for Minority and Women’s Entrepreneurship is designed to equip entrepreneurially minded women and minorities in the Madison area with the tools needed to launch or expand any business venture.

The several-week curriculum covers the skills needed to conceive, fund, organize and test a business idea. Sessions are taught by members of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, as well as active professionals with expertise in fields such as accounting, sales and marketing. Participants are part of a cohort of motivated individuals from diverse professional and educational backgrounds with whom they learn and share their own ideas and experiences.

If you are interested in the UpStart program, we would like to know more about you. Please complete the form, so we can begin to learn about you and your entrepreneurial ideas. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Click here to fill out the form indicating your interest in this program.

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Class Schedule

Classes meet Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in the Discovery Building and other nearby locations conveniently served by bus. Classes run for several weeks with sessions beginning in the winter and fall each year.



Week 1
Ideation Session to Spur New Business Ideas and Meet Everyone
Week 2
The Business Model Canvas
Week 3
The Business Model Canvas Part 2 — Market Research and Empathy Mapping
Week 4
Sales Planning
Week 5 Marketing: Developing Your Strategy and Promotion Plan
Week 6 Using the Web for Your Business
Week 7
The Business Model Canvas Part 3 — Customer Development and Interviews

AND Business Planning for Nonprofits
Week 8 Insurance and Risk Management
AND Operations and Management
Week 9 Accounting, Recordkeeping and Basic Tax Issues
Week 10
Financial Projections
Week 11 Financing Your Business
Week 12
Legal Issues for Small Business
Week 13
Bridging the Gap: The Concept of a Business Plan