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 13-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.

Download our Brochure

a Brochure


Download our FAQs

the FAQs

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 13 weeks with sessions beginning in early February and again in mid-September.


Week 1
Ideation Session to Spur New Business Ideas and Meet Everyone


Week 2
Introduction to Building “Your Personalized Plan”
Week 3
Financing Your Business
Week 4
Legal Issues for Small Business
Week 5 Marketing: Developing Your Overall Strategy
Developing Your Promotion Plan
Week 6 Sales Planning
Management Team & Operations

Business Model Generation – Business Model Canvas and Customer Development

Week 7
The Business Model Canvas
Week 8 Market Research and Empathy Mapping
Week 9 Customer Development & Customer Interviews

Business Planning – Additional Topics to Round Out a Business Plan

Week 10
Introduction to the Business Plan
Week 11 Using the Web for Your Business
Insurance & Risk Management
Week 12
Accounting, Recordkeeping & Basic Tax Issues
Week 13
Financial Projections