Capital Readiness Program for Women Entrepreneurs

Are you a Wisconsin woman challenged in sourcing capital for your small business? You’re not alone.

The Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship (IBE) historically finds fewer women entrepreneurs get capital and overall receive smaller amounts compared to men. In 2022, 47.5% of IBE women clients received capital vs 49.6% of men, with women receiving $63.8M in total compared to men’s $142M.

Learning Cohorts Forming Now!

With the assistance of a new Minority Business Development Agency grant, IBE aims to help women entrepreneurs get more capital. We have completed research surveys with women entrepreneurs and focus groups with investors, lenders, and other stakeholders to help us identify particular information needs for these businesses.

IBE is creating a new curriculum based on these findings in four customized tracks:

  • Early Stage Business (Fall 2024)
  • Food/Ag Businesses (Fall 2024)
  • Growth Stage Business (Spring 2025)
  • Tech/Innovation Businesses (Spring 2025)

This curriculum is tailored to women entrepreneurs and includes modules on personal financial literacy—including an opportunity to work with a coach; an in-depth study of business finances (including personalized assessments); special interest topics for women (communication skills, gender bias issues); business mentorship based on participant need; and concludes with a company pitch event to lenders and investors specially chosen to best meet the circumstances of each cohort.

All participants will receive an orientation packet including recommended reading, personal assessments, personal finance resources compliments of Summit Credit Union, and other pre-course preparation materials.

If the timing is not right for this year’s training, know that IBE will be running these cohorts again—contact Lora to include your name on a waiting list.

We look forward to helping you and your business meet success!

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Entrepreneurs: Join a cohort!

We are currently recruiting for:

  • 2024 cohort: Early Stage, Food. Farm Ag
  • Spring 2025 cohort: Growth Stage, Innovation/Tech
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Partners: Join our list!

Are you a partner hoping to assist women across Wisconsin to access capital to start and develop their small businesses? Reach out to learn more how you can help!

Outreach Learning Manager

Lora Bray

In general, she likes to help others reach their project or career goals. Their objectives or needs may vary, but she strives to provide solid data and helpful resources for good decision making. She finds it rewarding to save others time and contribute to their success by providing timely information.

Are you interested in learning more about the program? Reach out to Lora by filling out the Form below.


Find out more about the Capital Readiness Program and its need by reviewing the below reports provided by WIPPS (Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service) Research Partners:

Check out our webinar from March 25, 2024 to learn more and get YOUR common questions answered:

Contact Lora if you would like to receive an intake form to schedule a discussion and learn more about participating in the program.