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Supporting Opportunities for Aspiring Rural Entrepreneurs 

S.O.A.R is an 8-week business program specially designed for rural first-generation entrepreneurs who aspire to start their own businesses. The program aims to not only provide them with essential business startup knowledge but also focuses on cultivating them as successful business owners through the development of soft professional skills. Participants will be guided through a journey of self-discovery, business planning, operational strategies, goal setting, networking, and resource utilization. The program is structured to ensure that participants receive the necessary support and incentives to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Fall 2023 Cohort starts September 21, 2023 

Deadline to apply September 10, 2023 

 In-person cohort 

SOAR Fall 2023 .png

SOAR Program Curriculum 

Week 1: Discovering Your Entrepreneurial Purpose
● Introductions and Program Overview
● Curriculum and Expectations Review
● Understanding the Entrepreneurial Mindset
● Entrepreneur Self-Evaluation
● Discovering Your "WHY" as an Entrepreneur
● Cultivating Professional Soft Skills
● Ideation and Business Model Canvas
● Partner Spotlight: Center for Homeownership and Economic Development
● Accountability Assignment

Week 2: Building a Solid Foundation
● Accountability Check-in (Review Assignment)
● Importance of Personal Credit for Entrepreneurs
● Exploring Business Plans
● SWOT Analysis for Proposed Business Idea
● Tools and Resources for Business Planning
● Let’s Talk Personal Credit
● Partner Spotlight: Operation Hope
● Accountability Assignment

Week 3: Navigating Business Operations
● Accountability Check-in (Review Assignment)
● Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Business
● Understanding Business Structures
● State Creation Filing and Legal Considerations
● Obtaining EIN, DUNS#, and State Tax IDs
● Setting Up Business Bank Accounts
● Operating Agreements
● Accountability Assignment

Week 4: Crafting a Targeted Marketing Strategy
● Accountability Check-in (Review Assignment)
● The Importance of Marketing for Startups
● Identifying Target Customers and Customer Personas
● Developing a Budget-Friendly Marketing Plan
● Utilizing Online and Offline Marketing Channels
● Accountability Assignment

Week 5: Setting and Achieving Business Goals
● Accountability Check-in (Review Assignment)
● Setting SMART Business Goals
● Developing 6-Month and 12-Month Business Goals
● Measuring Success: Deciding on Metrics
● Financial and Client Goals
● Partner Spotlight: Grow with Google
● Accountability Assignment

Week 6: Organizing for Efficiency
● Accountability Check-in (Review Assignment)
● Organizing and Creating Processes for Efficiency
● Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
● Basic Bookkeeping and Recordkeeping
● Tools and Resources for Business Organization
● Accountability Assignment

Week 7: Leveraging Networking and Resources
● Accountability Check-in (Review Assignment)
● The Power of Networking for Business Growth
● Utilizing Local and Statewide Resources
● Leveraging Networking and Resources for Results
● Accountability Assignment: Prepare for vendor event

Week 8: Showcasing Your Business to the Community
● Vendor Opportunity and Community Showcase
● Participants present their products/services to the community
● Celebrating Entrepreneurial Achievements

Learn More about our Program Partners 

Center for homeownership and Economic development 

Operation hope 

Grow with Google| Main Street America | City of Wilson Partnership 

Program Incentives

Participants who attend at least 6 of the 8 classes will have access to exciting incentives,
● 1-on-1 support with an NC Grow with Google coach to get their business online
● A free landing page website for their business
● Access to up to $15,000 to fund their business idea
● The opportunity to present their product or service as a vendor during Global
Entrepreneurship Week
● Ongoing support in the form of free business mentoring and credit counseling with
Operation HOPE
● Select participants may qualify for up to $1,500 from CHOEDC

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