ST. LOUIS – Financial knowledge may seem like a barrier to opening your own business, but there is an organization in St. Louis that can help.
WIBO or Workshop in Business Opportunities is a 16-week program put on by Grace Hill Women`s Business Center which was initially founded to help marginalized, low-income communities.
“Business owners have challenges understanding the financials that means looking at the break-even cost analysis, making sure that there`s a profit, looking at the pro forma, where is the money coming in, where is the money going out. It`s not a conversation that`s easily shared but it`s very necessary,” says Director Alyce Herndon.
Students admit the program has given them a better understanding of their finances not only professionally but also personally.
“I can actually say my parents didn`t talk about finances a lot, but I was a person who wanted to work for what I wanted. I worked my job for like 15 years and I decided that the money I was making from my job I could make it for myself and my family,” said Stacy Harbor, Twist My Pickle and More Owner.
“Step-by-step you understand marketing, understand social media, understand how to do QuickBooks which is an app that`s good for entrepreneurs which breaks down the accounting process for you so those types of tools. It doesn`t matter you can use these at home and in your personal life to advance yourself and personal growth and your job as well,” said Robert Cleveland, Cleveland`s Cuisines owner.
Leaders say since the program’s inception there been 15,000 graduates nationwide and 54% of their businesses are still open five years later.
It’s giving entrepreneurs a path to achieve their dreams and it seems like they`re inspiring a few more in the process.
“They were like oh mom you`re going to business class to learn about your business and it`s also sparked an interest in my daughter. She`s 12 so now she`s thinking about ways she can create a business and she`s actually talking about babysitting. I was like you`ve got to go to WIBO,” said Ashley Fisher-Knox, Virtuous Properties owner.
There is a fee for the WIBO class, however, Grace Hill Women`s Business Center does offer many free classes.