Causes: Economic Development
Mission: The institute for entrepreneurial leadership (ifel) supports economic development through entrepreneurship. We take a hands on approach to helping ambitious entrepreneurs identify, obtain and leverage the resources necessary to create jobs and wealth in the communities that we serve. We have special outreach efforts targeting traditionally underserved business owners and inner-city communities.
Programs: Mentoring: we provide one-on-one mentoring, coaching and advisory services to help entrepreneurs work through the challenges of successfully operating a business. By helping them create stronger, more sustainable businesses, our objective is to help them grow, create jobs and be an asset within the community. In addition to providing direct services to clients who come to ifel as a result of our own outreach, we work with institutional clients (including social service and municipal agencies, economic development organizations and universities) to support their entrepreneurial training endeavors. In this way, we are expanding our reach through partnership with entities that serve our same target audience.
co-working space: we offer co-working space in downtown newark, nj to provide a business environment for entrepreneurs who don't need or can't yet afford a dedicated office. Members can utilize conference rooms and other amenities as well as interact with fellow entrepreneurs. We have branded the location as the ifel growspace, co-working for entrepreneurs to grow. Memberships are available at various price points to accommodate different needs and budgets. We hold regular growspace networking events for members to get to know each other.
workshops and training: in addition to one-on-one mentoring and support, we also engage in group/classroom based entrepreneurial training through two primary channels: 1) our support for workshop in business opportunities (wibo) and 2) the next level business plan competition. We actively promote the use of the wibo curriculum for startup entrepreneurs or those who need a better understanding of business fundamentals. It is our goal to become a wibo licensee to provide wibo training in new jersey. We offer business plan development training and support through our annual next level business plan & pitch competition. We use this as an opportunity to guide participants through the process of developing a business plan. We provide extensive technical assistance throughout the competition period. While there are prizes associated with the competition, the main focus of the competition is instructive with every participant receiving feedback from business experts. Finalists receive pitch coaching and receive an ifel accelerator membership which provides them with one-on-one mentoring for a year. The competition winner receives a cash grant to support startup or growth.