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Get Ready to Boost Your Business: Free Training Series Offers Chance to Win $5,000

Entrepreneurs, the Enterprise Center at PathStone, has teamed up with Rochester Economic Development Corp., rolling out a free training series designed to prep both new and established business owners in Buffalo, Rochester, and nearby areas for loans.

This free virtual series is aimed at small business owners who are actively looking for and are otherwise ready to access capital for start-up and expansion purposes.

Beginning on Wednesday, September 27, participants will go through an intense eight-week program, preparing a completed business plan and loan package that can later be submitted to the financial institution of their choice.

“We are thrilled to offer this comprehensive Business Plan Loan Readiness Workshop in collaboration with the Rochester Economic Development Corp.,” said President and Executive Director Javier E. Zapata-Rodríguez of The Enterprise Center at PathStone. “By providing aspiring entrepreneurs access to these resources and training, we are confident that our collective efforts will further close the gap between the capital that these small businesses need and reduce the barrier of entry for future financing, ultimately empowering diverse entrepreneurs and adding to the collective prosperity of our Communities.”

The workshop will include virtual labs to provide participants with any technical assistance needed throughout the series. Eligible participants will also get the opportunity to pitch their business for a chance to win up to $5,000 to go toward their business endeavors.

Registration is now open and applications will be accepted from August 23 to September 2; a final cohort of 25 will be selected. Interested applicants can apply online at

Prior to the workshop, there's a chance to meet in person on Tuesday, September 19. While most of the workshop is online, the last week wraps up with an in-person pitch competition. Funders, partners, and the press will all be there.

“REDCO is thrilled to Partner with The Enterprise Center at PathStone to help entrepreneurs obtain tools that are necessary to secure capital and scale their business,” said Executive Director Bayé Muhammad of REDCO.

An in-person orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 19, to allow participants to meet each other prior to the start of classes. While the first seven weeks of the workshop are virtual, the final session on the eighth week will be held in-person to feature the pitch competition, where funders, participants, partners, and the press are all invited to mingle, network, and view the competition.

Support for the workshop is made possible by a $170,000 grant awarded to The Enterprise Center at PathStone and REDCO by the Open4 Foundation. Over the next two years in partnership, the two will offer training services for emerging and existing entrepreneurs in Buffalo, Rochester, and surrounding counties.

Open4 Foundation, a partnership of community-based organizations and funders, dedicated to empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Western New York and Rochester regions, primarily focusing on serving businesses owned by women and people of color in low-and moderate-income neighborhoods has granted $170,000 to The Enterprise Center at PathStone and REDCO.

Over the next two years in partnership, the two will offer training services for emerging and existing entrepreneurs in Buffalo, Rochester, and surrounding counties.


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