State-funded training program for women-owned businesses now taking applications

Women-owned businesses in the Twin Cities can apply for a free training course on ways to accelerate business growth.

The course is run by the WomenVenture nonprofit, with funding from the Women’s Economic Security Act, implemented by DEED.

The training is worth $8,000 and is designed for “serious female entrepreneurs — particularly women of color and women in traditionally male-dominated fields such as high tech, manufacturing, construction, legal — as well as businesses with the ability to create high-paying wages that average $23+ per hour,” organizers said.

Up to 20 businesses will be selected from the applicants, and they’ll get:

  • Training, including Kauffman FastTrac Growth Venture, a 30-hour course that helps business owners evaluate and implement strategies to improve their business performance.
  • Financial management tools, such as Profit Mastery, which teaches businesses owners to understand and monitor their balance sheets, identify causes of financial distress and ways to cure them, and increase profitability.
  • Personalized one-on-one coaching sessions with experienced business consultants. 
  • Access to financing for business expansion, loans that come with free technical support in human resources, finance and marketing. 

Women business owners cand apply online at for the first session (September 14, 2015 – April 4, 2016) or the second session (March 2 – September 28, 2016.)

Requirements for applicants include:

  • 51 percent of the business is woman-owned 
  • 3+ years in business
  • Business has experienced steady, incremental growth each year since launch, with current annual revenues of $250K+
  • Business must be ready for exponential growth, including a 15 percent increase in revenue and a 70 increase in workforce in the two years following the program
  • Business must be able to make a significant investment of time(25 sessions over 31 weeks)

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