Frequently Asked Questions about the Entrepreneurial Training Program
What are the requirements to enroll in the Entrepreneurial Training Program?
Participants in the program are typically in the planning stages of starting a business or currently running a business. To enroll in the program, participants are required to:
Complete an application which includes stating current income
If a City of Los Angeles resident, provide California identification or other documentation (i.e. utility bill) to verify L.A. address
Report on aspects of their business over a two year period—revenues, business licenses obtained or articles of incorporation filed, and jobs created/retained—and commit to submitting verification documents
Do I have to currently run a business to participate in the program?
No. If you are not currently operating a business, you should enroll in the Level I class which is designed to guide you through the process of narrowing your business idea and determining its feasibility. Though you are not required to have a business license or DBA to take the Level I class, participants are encouraged to apply for their business license or DBA within 2-4 weeks after taking the Level I class.
I have various business ideas, should I take the Level I or II class?
If you are just starting your business and are unclear about which specific idea you will execute, you should take the Level I class. The class will provide tools to assist you with researching your ideas to determine which is most feasible.
Should I wait until I have written my business plan and applied for a business license, corporation, tax ID number, etc. before participating in ETP?
Level I participants are not required to have completed the business plan or possess any licenses. However, as the Level II class is focused on assisting individuals with launching or expanding the business, we strongly encourage participants of the Level II course to have obtained a business license and/or DBA before enrolling in the class. Workshops are offered on a monthly covering an overview of business legal structures and in-depth guidance on completing the LA City Business License and LA County Fictitious Business Name forms. See Program Calendar for upcoming sessions.
I am interested in starting a non-profit organization. Is the Entrepreneurial Training Program appropriate for me?
Yes. In the increasingly competitive non-profit funding environment, it is essential for non-profit managers to demonstrate adequate planning, capacity to implement and prospects for success. ETP provides an opportunity to conduct in-depth planning on the aspects of a non-profit. The business plan writing class, especially, allows for prospective non-profit leaders to consider the proposed demographic to be served (market), the operations and management structure, and financial outlook of the non-profit. Additionally, previous participants have used the business plan as a template for grant applications that often require similar information (i.e. organization’s history, capacity to implement proposed programs, etc.)
I’m already in business, why should I take the business plan writing class?
Business owners actively running a business often encounter roadblocks such as decreased capital and rapid change, and are unable to respond to these challenges due to a lack of planning. A business plan is an essential tool to mitigate these challenges, establish goals and develop a solid plan for success and growth. The business plan writing class challenges entrepreneurs to consider different variables and conduct strategic planning. In addition, if funding of any type is desired, a business plan is a required document.
How long is the program?
The Level I class is a two-hour session that meets once a week for 3 weeks. The Level II class is a three-session that meets once a week for 8 weeks. However, upon entering the program, VSEDC conducts follow-up with participants and provides ongoing support for two years.
When are the classes offered?
View the Program Calendar for upcoming classes.
Where is the class located?
The classes are hosted at VSEDC’s Business Enterprise Center located at 6109 S. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90047. Classes also take place at the sites of partner organizations.
Is there a fee?
There is no fee to participate in the program; only an investment of time and energy, and a commitment to fulfilling the course requirements and executing your business idea.
I have so many questions about starting a business and don’t know where to begin! What to do?
Breathe! Entrepreneurship is an exciting but overwhelming prospect with many variables to consider. The Entrepreneurial Training Program offers a foundation to explore the multiple aspects of business ownership and establish a roadmap for success.