A Start-Up Program for Under-Represented Women Exploring Entrepreneurship



As we adjust to the pandemic and the workplaces prepare to re-open, many women are taking a hard look at how they work.  A long commute, worry over childcare and lack of flexibility are leading many to explore entrepreneurship.  Owning your own business has many benefits, but building a business is also hard work.  In fact, 50% of small businesses fail and many never really get off the ground.

Through the Wells Fargo Open for Business Grant, The NAWBO Institute is launching a start-up program for women who are exiting the workforce in rural regions and marginalized socioeconomic communities.  We hope to reach and positively impact under-represented women who are exploring entrepreneurship to provide them with the tools they need for a good start.

Starting this summer, the program will be delivered through a dynamic workshop series – available virtually and on demand to reach all parts of the country – for two six-month cohorts.  As the voice of America’s 11.6 million women business owners, NAWBO members will play a role in these workshops by sharing their stories and expertise.

The series’ combination of webinars and facilitated roundtables will:

  • Guide particpants through self-discovery to discern whether they possess the temperment, knowledge and resources that leads to business success
  • Lead them through the start-up phases of business, discussing business forms, trademarks and copyrights, financial record keeping, marketing and more
  • Provide a membership in NAWBO and roundtable groups so they have ongoing support from NAWBO’s community of women business owners


Are you a woman in a rural region or marginalized socioeconomic community currently considering launching your own business and wanting to do it right?





  • Application Period is March 1–June 30, 2022 
  • Applicants will be notified of next steps end of June 2022
  • The first module runs from July 11–25, 2022
  • Program is held over a 6-month period
  • 1-year NAWBO memberships are awarded after participants complete the first two learning modules

Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

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