Small business file photo
If you answered yes to the title question, then consider applying for the PROPEL Small Business Growth Program.
This program helps owners plan and execute their top growth strategy to progress from micro to small business. Micro businesses frequently stall or plateau at $100,000 to $200,000 in sales and never reach what is called the “established small businesses” levels of sales from $1 to $3 million per year.
The Alliance for Community Development is accepting applications now through the middle of January to fill 20 places in a cohort group. The selected businesses get half-day workshops led by experienced consultants in marketing, product development, finance and execution. In addition, each business gets one individual advising session per month to immediately apply growth tools in their businesses.
The design of the program draws on the success of ACD’s first generation program the Created in Oakland - CiO - program. By the end of 2012, 9 percent of the 34 companies that graduated from the CiO program are now passing the $1 million gross revenue level, having started the program with annual revenues under $400,000. The new PROPEL program is now open to businesses across the Bay Area and we want to have strong participation from the East Bay.
The program gives owners business tools in marketing and financial management and growth strategy planning and execution to meet the higher requirements for acquiring appropriate and adequate financing. Banks now require profitability and like to see businesses pay some taxes to qualify for debt financing.
The alliance is recruiting 20 businesses with 1-20 years or more in full-time operations to start a PROPEL cohort group in January.
The program runs for nine months with workshops and individual advising. Applications for the PROPEL program are being accepted through Dec. 31. There is a below market sliding scale fee for the program. The market value of the program is approximated $5,000.
For more information, visit the Alliance website.
Graduates of the CiO program include:
• Bay Area Bikes - owner Glenda Barnhart opened a store in Pittsburgh while increasing sales in the Oakland Uptown store in and Bike Rental outlet in Jack London Square.
• Cutting Edge Capital - CEO Jenny Kassan is a national leader in creative financing.
• LarsonShores Architects - partners Josh Larson and Carrie Shores expanded their architecture practice into interior design. Their Monkey Forest Road on Grand Avenue is a landmark in the district.
• Tina “Tamale” Ramos - a master of popup events in Oakland, her truck, The Tamale Transporter, is unforgettable.
• Anca Mosoiu - owner of TechLiminal, is expanding her co-working space in Oakland and is an anchor of the technology community.
• Nerdynista.com - a new website that celebrates smart and accomplished women, emerged from a collaboration between Winning Strategies, owner Cynthia Mackey and The Edifice Complex owner, Consuelo Crosby.
The PROPEL Small Business Growth program is designed to increase the success rate of micro and small businesses. According to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, as of October, 2011, 70 percent of jobs created in Alameda and Contra Costa counties came from firms employing less than 100 staff. Fifty-four percent of the jobs created came from companies with less than 26 employees. However, in the same report, the data indicates that 96 percent of businesses with less than 25 employees are most at risk of closing. That means only 4 percent net job creation over time. Improving the successful growth of micro businesses to a small business can have significant impact on local job creation.
The program is presented by the Alliance for Community Development, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that assists businesses with diverse leadership to grow and access financing and funding. The alliance played a leading role in developing the Double Bottom Line investing model, generating market rates of return and social, economic and environmental benefits.
The alliance accomplishes these goals by delivering expert level forums, cohort group programs to accelerate growth of small businesses and conferences for rapid growth entrepreneurs. The impact of our equity financing initiatives and programs of the Alliance are:
Sponsors of the program are Pacific Gas and Electric Company and US Bank.
Visit allianceforcommunitydevelopment.com or to get answers to questions email Darlene Crane, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.