Start A Business
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, 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.
During COVID, classes are being held virtually.
Upcoming Virtual Classes:
2021 Virtual Class Dates:
Please call (239) 995-2106 ext 2304 for details. In person classes will begin when they can be conducted safely.
If you need assistance with the application, or would like to receive information on the schedule please contact us at (239) 995-2106 ext. 2304
or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Dorothy Browning (239) 995-2106 ext. 2215
Counselors include SCORE representatives and experienced small business owners
Featured MicroEnterprise Businesses
More than 905 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.
Additional Resources Assistance
- Become a Small Business Mentor
- Small Business Development Center
- Small Business Administration
Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute 2019-2020 Program Funders
Richard M. Schulze Family FoundationGoodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute Program Funders
City of North Port
Punta Gorda Rotary
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.