Building Operational Capacity Course

Apply to Our Entrepreneur Academy


In our Building Operational Capacity Course, we guide you through a hands-on process for building internal capacities to execute on your operational plans, monitor business performance and impact, and make informed decisions on how to grow your business. This course is 12-weeks long and is well suited for entrepreneurs who are operating a business with a social impact mission and values.

What You Will Learn


Topics Covered
  • Discuss how to make the transition from planning for business resilience and operating a resilient business
  • Discuss continuous improvement in business operations
  • Review your business’ operational processes and identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement
Collecting Data
  • Learn about the data that is generated in your business’ operational processes
  • Learn about the different systems that collect, store, and report key operational and financial data
  • Collect and report on key operational and financial data
Understanding Data
  • Learn how to make meaning out key operational and financial data
  • Gain an understanding of leading and lagging indicators of business performance
  • Review your operational and financial data and identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement
Assessing the Business
  • Learn how to assess overall business performance using market, operational, and financial data
  • Learn how to engage key stakeholders in understanding your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Use data and engage stakeholders to assess your business’ overall performance
Setting Goals
  • Learn how to use your assessment of overall business performance to prioritize next steps for your business
  • Gain an understanding of how to develop measurable goals for your business
  • Develop goals for your business over the next year
Creating Project Plans
  • Learn practical methods for developing and deploying a project plan
  • Gain insights on aligning project teams to deliver a project successfully
  • Develop a project plans for your business goals over the next year
Resource Planning
  • Learn how to assess key activities and resources needed to execute on a major project
  • Learn how to engage key stakeholders in cross-functional planning
  • Identify the resources needed to implement the project plans over the next year
Budgeting a Project
  • Gain an understanding of the elements of a project budget
  • Learn how to translate a project plan into a detailed project budget
  • Develop a detailed project budgets for your project plans over the next year
Return on Investment
  • Learn how identify the potential financial impact of a project plan on ongoing sales and expenses
  • Learn how to measure return on investment by looking at total cost of the project in relation to its potential ongoing impact on sales and expenses
  • Calculate the return on investment for your project plans over the next year
  • Learn how to incorporate the impacts of your project plans into your longer term financial forecast
  • Update your financial forecast to reflect your project budgets and the effects of your projects on ongoing business operations
  • Learn how to summarize and present the financial forecast to key stakeholders
Understanding Cash Flow
  • Learn how to forecast and manage cash flow
  • Gain an understanding of how to use the cash flow forecast to determine short and long-term funding needs
  • Develop a cash flow projection and identify funding needs for your business
Final Presentations
  • Present your assessment of business performance, goals, project plans and financial impact of your business strategies over the next year
  • Receive constructive feedback from your peers and mentors to refine your business strategies for the next year


Must be making sales to customers or have letters of intent for sales to potential customers, have a basic website and social media for your business, and have an up-to-date business plan.

Commit to Building Your Business

Average time commitment for our Building Operational Capacity Course is 10 hours / week dedicated to building your business, and includes the following weekly activities:


Activity Weekly Commitment
Background Materials
  • Series of required background readings and videos on each unit to be completed online prior to the weekly workshop sessions
  • Describes concepts and their applications in developing a business

1-2 hours / week

  • Weekly workshop sessions led by an expert instructor
  • Lecture and discussion on background materials, group activities, and reflection

3 hours / week

Business Development Activities
  • Weekly activities focused on your business development
  • Apply concepts learned in background materials and workshops

2-10 hours / week

Peer Mentoring
  • Weekly video conference with small peer group of other entrepreneurs in your course
  • Present weekly business development activities and receive constructive feedback from peers

1 hour / week

One-on-One Mentoring
  • Weekly one-on-one meetings with your mentor
  • Discuss business progress, review weekly business development activity, and connect with resources to meet business needs

30 minutes / week

Meet Your Mentors

Sherri Lowe

Sherri Lowe

Business Instructor & Advisor


Fyodor Ovchinnikov

Fyodor Ovchinnikov

Business Instructor & Advisor


Apply for Our Entrepreneur Academy

To take our Building Operational Capacity Course, you must be enrolled in our Entrepreneur Academy.

Our Entrepreneur Academy is a year-long entrepreneurship certificate program to support small business owners in creating plans, improving operations, accessing capital, and developing leadership capabilities to build resilient businesses with social impact.

Learn More About Our Entrepreneur Academy

Apply for Our Entrepreneur Academy

Own Your Future