Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

Women’s Business Academy Continues to Empower South Jersey Entrepreneurs

Posted on 3/29/2019 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News
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Camden, NJ- On March 13th, LAEDA concluded the third cohort of its Women’s Business Academy (WBA). Established in 2016 in conjunction with the Women’s Business Center, this nine-week training program closely emulates the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) by partnering the students with a business counselor and collaboratively writing a business plan that will guide them to business success.

The WBA program goes one step further by providing women with classes that specifically acknowledge the hardship and difficulties they face when going into business. For example – negotiation. A special class from Fonda Wynn of Wynn Development Consultants taught our business owners how to lead a conversation that yields the outcomes a female business owner wants, needs, and should have. The soft skills emphasized in this class, as well as Work-Life Balance, Time and Task Management, and Goal Setting were specifically oriented toward helping our women achieve. Another way in which this course slightly differed was the goal to have exclusively female instructors for those classes that LAEDA utilizes experts, such as accounting, business law, and real estate.

This was a very special group of attendees that came from diverse backgrounds and spent a collective 70+ hours together growing as a community and assisting one another through many facets of business development. Whether it was working together as a focus group for product development or holding one another accountable to register the business and keep formalizing, the students’ bond was very recognizable to staff and instructors alike.

During the last class of the WBA, the participants bring dishes to celebrate the last night of class. There was no shortage of delicious food or delectable sweets on the evening. Two of the women enrolled in the course, each based in Burlington County, proudly shared their wares with the LAEDA staff (it turns out their classmates and instructors had been test-tubing new products the whole time!). You can admire photos of their chocolates and cupcakes here, and you can certainly plan to read about them in our alumni spotlights soon! The celebration also featured a vegan chickpea curry, baked ziti, empanadas, fried chicken, and more – a veritable feast. 

Although it was the last class, it is not the end for this group. Every individual that completes a nine-week LAEDA course is encouraged to stay in touch with their business counselor as they continue to develop their business plans and implement the knowledge gained from class. The group will also be invited to participate in the annual graduation ceremony that takes place in the Fall. 

Does all this sound like the small business boot camp you want? LAEDA runs its nine-week programs three times a year in the winter, spring, and fall.  You can apply here for the next cohort beginning in April.