Do I have to be a resident in one of those metropolitan areas (Boston, Chicago, or Oakland / East Bay metropolitan areas) to apply?
We are committed to supporting the local economies where we run our programs. As such, you must be a resident in a metropolitan area where we have a location, either Boston, Chicago, or Oakland / East Bay metropolitan areas.
What is the value of the Small Business Academy?
The full value of our Small Business Academy is $20,000. Given the current economic situation, we are subsidizing the majority of the cost of the Small Business Academy for all entrepreneurs of color. By completing the Small Business Academy, you will have the knowledge, tools, and network necessary to grow your creative or social enterprise.
What kind of businesses are you looking for?
We encourage those who are passionate about creating sustainable impact in their community to apply. Some of the entrepreneurs we have worked with in the past include, but are not limited to, those in arts and culture, health and wellness, food and beverage, retail and eCommerce, manufacturing, and services industries.
What kind of positive social, environmental, and economic impact are you looking for?
We are looking for entrepreneurs who believe in advancing principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. This includes business concepts that provide for cultural expression, create good jobs, advance worker ownership and democracy, utilize sustainable production methods, shift to zero waste, among other practices.
What happens after I complete the Small Business Academy?
As a Small Business Academy graduate, you may be eligible to apply for and receive funding and ongoing support for your business through our partnerships with mission-aligned funders, RUNWAY and The REAL People’s Fund. Our partnerships with RUNWAY and The REAL People’s Fund provide friendly, restorative capital and continued business support and community to grow your business in alignment with your values.
Are Small Business Academy entrepreneurs eligible to become member-owners of Uptima?
All Uptima entrepreneurs who complete a certain level of our programs and are in good standing on their program fees are eligible to become member-owners of Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative. Entrepreneurs who are interested in becoming member-owners will need to go through the membership process.
What does it mean to be a member-owner of Uptima?
Becoming a member of Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative means you become a part of a cooperative community that invests in each other, shares in our profits, and has a say in how we are run.