Start A Business

Want to Be Your Own Boss?

Finding a job you love can be difficult-so why not be your own boss instead? Goodwill's MicroEnterprise program provides aspiring small business owners with the skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs and become more independent.


What is a MicroEnterprise?

MicroEnterprises are the backbone of our economy. A microenterprise is any type of small business that has fewer than five employees and requires $35,000 or less to start-up, generally much less.

Did you know:

  • MicroEnterprises represent 90% of all businesses in the Southwest Florida.
  • There are more than 26 million microenterprises in our country.
  • One out of every six private sector employees in our country works for a microenterprise.
     

Who is eligible?

Our MicroEnterprise program is designed to help individuals with low to moderate income levels and other disadvantages to start or stabilize their own businesses. If you have a great idea for a new business, the Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute is available to aspiring small business owners who live in the Southwest Florida area.  An administrative fee may apply depending upon your income level. This pays for your course materials-but the rewards you reap will give you far more value! 

What are the classes like?

Classes typically meet 10-12 times for six weeks, usually twice a week in the evenings. In the Goodwill MicroEnterprise Program, you will work with an instructor as well as a small business mentor who helps guide you through planning your business and shares their personal experiences. These classes will assist you in developing a feasibility plan that focuses on cash flow- the first and most critical step in creating a business plan. A strong business plan will help you not only to run your business, but also to apply for financial assistance.  After completion of the class and based on ability to repay, participants may be eligible to apply for a small loan through the Kiva Zip program with Goodwill MicroEnterprise providing some matching funds.

Upcoming Classes

NEW: Virtual classes: (see below)

Contact: (239) 995-2106 ext 2304 or sandraplazas@goodwillswfl.org or Dorothy Browning (239) 995-2106 ext. 2215


COLLIER COUNTY: 

NEW  English and Spanish Virtual class- TBD
Please call 239-995-2106 ext 2304

Para obtener más información sobre las próximas clases virtuales, llame al 239-995-2106 ext 2304.  
or email sandraplazas@goodwillswfl.org  or Dorothy Browning (239) 995-2106 ext. 2215

LEE COUNTY:

New Virtual Class:  September 14 - October 22, 2020

Please call (239) 995-2106 ext 2304

If you need assistance with the application, or would like to receive information on the schedule please contact us at (239) 995-2106 ext. 2304
or email sandraplazas@goodwillswfl.org or Dorothy Browning (239) 995-2106 ext. 2215
Counselors include SCORE and experienced small business owners
 

CHARLOTTE COUNTY: Tenative Please call (239) 995-2106 ext 2304

Charlotte County Class starts: September 14-October 22, 2020

(Classes will be held on a Monday and Thursday) 
Class is held at: Charlotte Technical COllege | 18150 Murdock Circle | Port Charlotte FL 33948

If you need assistance with the application, or would like to receive information on the schedule please contact us at (239) 995-2106 ext. 2304 
or email sandraplazas@goodwillswfl.org or Dorothy Browning (239) 995-2106 ext. 2215

Featured MicroEnterprise Businesses

More than 787 entrepreneurs have graduated from the Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute, and many have successfully started their own businesses with education and other assistance from Goodwill and our partners. Please support our programs by supporting these businesses.

 This list is updated frequently as our graduates open new businesses.


Additional Resources Assistance

 

Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute 2019-2020 Program Funders

Major Funding Provided by:
Richard M. Schulze Family FoundationGoodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute Program Funders
Bank of America
Bank OZK
BankUnited
Busey Bank
CIT Bank
City of Cape Coral
City of Fort Myers
Comerica Bank
Enterprise Charlotte Foundation
Fifth Third Bank
FineMark Bank
First Citizens Bank
First Florida Integrity Bank
iBERIABANK
Midwest One
Mutual of Omaha Bank
PNC Bank
Regions Bank
Schulze Family Foundation
SunTrust Bank
Synovus Bank
Truist Bank
Wells Fargo Bank
The SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute and its partners are mission-driven to help people become more independent.

 

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc.'s Registration # is CH1930.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OF FL.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.  PLEASE VISIT www.800helpfla.com FOR OFFICIAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.