Startup Works with WIBO™

A new program for Richmond’s startup founders to establish and grow a thriving business.  This program is to provide startups a launch pad for a profitable business that meets individual income needs.  The program includes important benefits:

  • 17 weeks of proven instruction methods from WIBO covering the aspects of business planning and launch;
  • Access to mentors for one-on-one coaching and introductions to professional colleagues;
  • Networking events to meet other business founders and prospective customers;
  • Promotional benefits associated with RVA Works alumni status; and
  • Ongoing events for alumni to refresh their skills.

Our Successes

  • 57 students have entered the Startup Works program, with 68% coming from lower income households and 95% are women- or minority-owned startups
  • 37 founders have graduated
  • 25 new businesses are in operation
  • 67% are actively operating their business

The Curriculum

We use the WIBO curriculum, developed in New York in 1966.  Now in it’s 17th edition, this course work has been used to train almost 18,000 startup founders.  54% of WIBO graduates are in business after five years, compared to the 20% national average.  42% of businesses saw a revenue increase after completing the training, and 50% of WIBO participants report that their business is their sole source of income.  The curriculum includes:

  1. Personal Branding & Communications (non WIBO introduction)
  2. Basic Requirements & Getting the Facts
  3. Identifying Your Target Market
  4. Promoting Your Business – Marketing
  5. Searching for Customers
  6. Helping People Buy – Sales
  7. Making a Profit – Pricing Strategy
  8. Making a Profit – Costs
  9. Making a Profit – Financial Decisions
  10. Presenting Your Business for Financing
  11. Making a Profit – Purchasing
  12. Financing Business Growth – Cash Flow & Credit
  13. Investing in People – Human Resources
  14. Using Other People’s Money– Financing
  15. Controlling Finances – Recordkeeping & Taxes
  16. Business Ethics and the Law
  17. Personal Finance & Independence

Your Commitment

This program is for highly motivated individuals who possess the creativity and perseverance required to succeed in business.  There are no educational or professional prerequisites for the program.  It is open to anyone that is interested in starting a new business.  Participants should expect to spend 15 – 20 hours per week on business planning activities.

The Cost

The cost of the WIBO tuition is the only expense charged to participants.  Tuition is $350 with further discounts for individuals with an income under $50,000.

  • Income below $50,000 – Tuition is $250
  • Income below $30,000 – Tuition is $150
  • Income below $20,000 – Tuition is $100

To qualify applicants must bring the prior year’s tax return to the interview, as proof of the income level. 


Where and When

Classes meet at St. Paul’s Baptist Church, 700 East Belt Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23224.  Classes are held from 6pm – 9pm on Thursday evenings, from August – December and from January – May.  Individual cohort schedules are made available upon acceptance to the program.

For More Information & To Apply

To apply, please print, complete and return the application to our offices.  The application form is included here, along with an information sheet:

Startup Works with WIBO.pdf