In July of 2017, UnBoundRVA welcomed Class Four into our program! CLASS FOUR! As a team, we are beyond thankful for the individuals and organizations that have supported us and helped us grow since we began Class One in the summer of 2014 so that we can continue to bring aspiring entrepreneurs closer to their dream of business ownership. It is the same aspiring entrepreneurs, individuals, and organizations that have provided us with invaluable feedback in the development and growth of our programing that has allowed us to adapt and evolve so that we can provide the very best experience and support to each class. We are excited by the challenges we face as an organization as we are fueled by the very best motivation there can be – the members of each class and graduate business owners – to strive for the best for them. In doing so, we want to share with you our new and improved model, and the associated timeline changes!
The model is fundamentally the same as before, but with a few additions. Biggest to note is that we have changed from a 12-month model to an 18-month timeline. We are maintaining our six-month competitive curriculum, but we are extending the intensive support and partnership offered to the businesses from 6 months to 12 months. Each business requires different steps and resources as we prepare for launch, which can in turn cause a start up timeline to vary. By extending the support by an additional 6 months, we are committing to each business owner a full year of partnered support at the most critical time for small businesses.
We are also kicking off the Strength Builder Series! Workshops will focus on topics ranging from professionalism to communication, and personal financing to public speaking. Each topic has previously been discussed within the program, but we have decided to combine them now within a new phase. We are introducing a financial literacy workshop in partnership with Capital One that we are thrilled to begin in October too! Class Four has already heard from guest speakers including Dress for Success and Goodwill, and we have a few more up our sleeves too. The goal is to continue to surround the class with resources within our city to prepare them for future success both individually and as business owners.
In transitioning to an 18 month model, we also saw an opportunity to shift the calendar timeline too. By pushing the start of Personal Brand Workshop to January, we were able to add the Strength Builder Series, and continue to revamp and update our curriculum as needed all while working to strengthen our staff internally too. We hope to receive feedback from Class Four to see if this new series will remain a constant in our program moving forward. As of now we plan to begin the 18 month model in January 2018, meaning Class Four will graduate in June 2019 with Class Five beginning their Personal Brand Workshop in July 2019.
As an organization that supports the launch and growth of start up businesses, we sometimes can forget that we too are a young organization still learning and growing. We are able to do the work that we do because of the incredibly loyal and committed network surrounding us that continues to provide the necessary feedback and guidance so that our programing can be as strong and effective as the strong and inspiring individuals that choose UnBound to be their partner in achieving their goal of small business ownership. Thank you for choosing us for your journey, and thank you for remaining on this journey with us.