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Want to Be Your Own Boss?

Finding a job you love can be difficult-- so why not be your own boss instead?  Goodwill's MicroEnterprise program provides aspiring small business owners with the skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs and become more independent.


What is a Microenterprise?

Microenterprises are the backbone of our economy. A microenterprise is any type of small business that has fewer than five employees and requires $35,000 or less to start-up, generally much less.

Did you know:

  • MicroEnterprises represent 87% of all businesses in the United States.
  • There are more than 24 million microenterprises in our country.
  • One out of every six private sector employees in our country works for a microenterprise.

Who is eligible?

Our MicroEnterprise program is designed to help individuals with low to moderate income levels and other disadvantages to start or stabilize their own businesses. If you have a great idea for a new business, the Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute is available to aspiring small business owners who live in the Southwest Florida area.  An administrative fee may apply depending upon your income level. This pays for your course materials-- but the rewards you reap will give you far more value!


What are the classes like?

Classes typically meet 10-12 times, usually twice a week in the evenings. In the Goodwill MicroEnterprise program, you will work with an instructor as well as a small business mentor who helps guide you through planning your business and shares their personal experiences. These classes will assist you in developing a feasibility plan that focuses on cash flow-- the first and most critical step in creating a business plan. A strong business plan will help you not only to run your business, but also to apply for financial assistance. After completion of the class, participants are invited to apply for a small character based micro-loan from Goodwill and our lending partners.

Upcoming Classes:

Classes run six weeks. If you have an interest in any of the classes listed below please download our application fill out online and email or fax to (239) 652-1655. Please contact us at: (239) 995-2106, ext. 2219 for additional information.



Fort Myers Class: February 16th - March 23, 2015
Classes held at: Keiser University | 9100 Forum Corporate Parkway | Fort Myers, FL 33905
Class Sponsored by: Lee County Department of Human Services


Cape Coral Class: April 20, 2015 - May 27, 2015
Classes held at: 815 Nicholas Parkway East | Cape Coral, FL 33990
Classes Sponsored by:


Fort Myers Class: April 27, 2015 - June 4, 2015
Classes held at: Keiser University | 9100 Forum Corporate Parkway | Fort Myers, FL 33905
Classes Sponsored by: Lee County Department of Human Services



Port Charlotte Class: Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Classes held at: Charlotte Technical Center | 18150 Murdock Circle | Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Class Sponsored by:




How to Apply:

Welcome Letter

MicroEnterprise Application  - (If you need assistance with the application please call (239) 995-2106, ext. 2219)

Become a Small Business Mentor


Featured MicroEnterprise Businesses:

More than 100 entrepreneurs have graduated from the Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute, and many have successfully started their own businesses with education and other assistance from Goodwill and our partners. Please support our programs by supporting these businesses. This list is updated frequently as our graduates open new businesses.


Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute partners:

Busey Bank
Central Bank of Southwest Florida

City of Cape Coral
Collier County Department of Housing and Human Services

Fifth Third Bank
First Florida Integrity Bank

Florida Community Bank


Lee County Department of Human Services (provides funding for program)
Lee County Sheriff's Department
Mutual of Omaha Bank
Regions Bank

SunTrust Bank

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Walmart - Port Charlotte

(Others to be announced)