Organizations across the U.S. are prioritizing growth and support for Black and underrepresented entrepreneurs in 2023, but organizations often struggle to deliver these kinds of services in-house. And when they do, too many organizations fail to adapt the curriculum and materials they use to fit the actual lived experience of the people they’re trying to help.

The result? Participants don’t sign up, or they disengage after a few weeks when they get the sense that this experience might not be worth their time. And they tell others.

But none of that has to happen. Black and underrepresented founders are actually more likely to seek out entrepreneurial education, and when they get that experience from people who have first hand understanding of their unique opportunities and challenges, then that class or experience can be nothing short of transformative!

Trep House designs its Y.O.University Learning Experiences to put the New Majority experience front and center. Our programs

  • Share information in a way that is built around – and delivered by – people they can relate to, grounded in a culture that they know is their own.
  • Empower participants by letting them learn from someone who has had their same experiences,
  • Creating experiences that give them the chance to try, learn – and even fail – in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Gives them in-person experience with people who are building their own businesses, and
  • Gives them vital hands-on experience creating and growing sustainable businesses and social impact initiatives. 

Y.O.University offerings are designed to be taught independently, while also creating a reinforcing whole.  If your organization is looking for learning or engagement opportunities that you do not see here, let your Trep House contact know – that resource may be in development.  

Content can be adapted to middle school through adult audiences.  All courses include a certificate of completion suitable for framing, if desired. 

Entry Level Learning Experiences

Treppin’ 101.  This introductory course overviews the process of successfully starting, maintaining and growing a business.  We focus on the experiences of Black innovators past and present, and use a combination of relatable stories, factual information and hands-on activities to help participants see exactly what it would take to start a business – and see themselves in that role.  Twelve 1-to-1.5 hour sessions, includes activities, workbook available if desired.

Make your Money Work: Financial Management.  Six sessions explaining fundamentals such as savings, use of personal credit, budgeting and planning.  Focused on realistic and non-judgemental advising and practical beginning steps to financial management.  Includes supplemental information and activities. 

Business and Personal Credit Management.  This 4-session seminar addresses the use of credit in business development, and strategies for building both personal and business credit for the purpose of starting and growing a business.  

Who Owns the Ice House? Building the Entrepreneurial Mindset.  This video- and story-based training focuses on building the key elements of an entrepreneurial mindset, focusing on the story of the sole Black business owner in a 1950s Mississippi. This course may be offered virtually by a nonprofit partner organization.

Intermediate Level Learning Experiences

Intermediate level courses include a 6-month membership in the Trep House online platform, which includes events, resources, additional coaching and evaluation and access to funding resources.

Does your business work?  Check the Canvas.  This 4-session course uses a lightweight tool to help potential entrepreneurs create and test a business strategy, from products and customers to cost and revenues, without writing a large document or creating something that is hard to change as the business grows.  This course may be taught by a non-Black instructor. 

Developing a Market Plan.  This 10-module course gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to deepen their understanding of their business and develop the materials that they will need to create effective marketing.  This course may be only available virtually. 

Zoning, Permits and Your Business.  This 3-session course explains the regulations surrounding business and buildings, and helps existing and potential business owners avoid problems and miscommunication with city permit officials, saving time and money and increasing the odds that the business can operate successfully.  This course may be taught by a non-Black instructor. 

Crowdfunding.  This 6- session seminar helps business owners fully understand how crowdfunding works and what they need to do to prepare for a successful crowdfund.  The seminar covers both incentive-based and investment crowdfunding.  This course may only be available virtually. 

Collaborative Experiences

These experiences are designed to give high school students and adults hands-on experience in creating and operating a business and/or addressing community needs.  Trep House couples experienced subject matter advisors with lessons learned from student run business management, provided with culturally – appropriate managers, to support teams of community members in identifying and launching their initiative.  These programs are offered in partnership with Econogy, a division of the Wise Economy Workshop.

HIgh School Student Run Business.  This program, which can function either as a class or an extra-curricular activity, will guide students through the process of selecting, planning, creating and operating a student run business during the course of the academic year.  Students will be advised by Trep House-trained advisors and receive technical advice from New Majority specialists in the skills and technologies that they need.

High School Solve-it Tank.   This program, which can function either as a classroom special activity or an extra-curricular activity, connects students each month to a key local challenge.  Students have an opportunity to learn about the challenge directly from people who are working on that issue, and then compete in teams to create potential solutions.

Micro Enterprise Launch Lab.  This 6-month program helps up to 10 potential entrepreneurs develop, test and launch a micro-business (such as a freelancer or an independent contractor).  Participants learn the fundamentals of business operation and develop their business in close partnership with other cohort members and coaches.  

Community Based Business.  This yearlong program guides a small team of local residents through the process of designing, testing and creating a business that meets a specific community need.  Participants connect with other New Majority business leaders, conduct market analysis, design and launch operations.  Community Power Plant. This yearlong program convenes local residents on a monthly basis to develop solutions to specific community challenges.  Participants receive hands-on training in collaborative problem solving and leverage New Majority experiences and perspectives to identify alternative solutions.

Contact to learn more and explore how Y.O.University offerings can accelerate your community.

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