Start A Business

SWFL MicroEnterprise 

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.

Services are offered to residents of Lee, Collier, Charlotte ( including North Port), Hendry and Glades Counties.  


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 90% of all businesses in the Southwest Florida.
  • There are more than 26 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! Services are offered to residents of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, North Port, Hendry and Glades Counties.  

What are the classes like?

Classes typically meet 10-12 times for six weeks, 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 and based on ability to repay, participants may be eligible to apply for a small loan through the Kiva Zip program with Goodwill MicroEnterprise providing some matching funds.

In person classes with social distancing and Masks required during COVID

 

Fort Myers Class: April 19-May 27, 2021

Held in person at:
Hodges University in the Kleist Community Room
4501 Colonial Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33966


Cape Coral Class: May 17 - June 25 2021

Held in person at:
Public Works Building/Community Room
815  Nicholas PKWY E. Cape Coral FL 33990

 

Please call (239) 995-2106 ext 2215 for details. 

If you need assistance with the application, or would like to receive information on the schedule please contact us at (239) 995-2106 ext. 2215
or email sandraplazas@goodwillswfl.org or Dorothy Browning.
Counselors include SCORE representatives and experienced small business owners


 

Featured MicroEnterprise Businesses

More than 913 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.


Additional Resources Assistance

 

Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute 2020-2021 Program Funders

Major Funding Provided by:
Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation 
Bank of America
Bank OZK
BankUnited
Charlotte State Bank
CIT Bank
City of Cape Coral
City of Fort Myers
City of North Port 
Coca-Cola Foundation
Comerica Bank
Fifth Third Bank
FineMark National Bank & Trust
First Florida Integrity Bank
Regions Bank
Rotary Club of Punta Gorda
Schulze Family Foundation
Synovus Bank
TD Bank Foundation
TIAA Bank
Truist Bank - (SunTrust Bank)
US Department Housing and Urban Development
Wells Fargo Bank
Zonta Foundation of SWFL
The SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute and its partners are mission-driven to help people become more independent.

 

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc.'s Registration # is CH1930.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OF FL.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.  PLEASE VISIT www.800helpfla.com FOR OFFICIAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.