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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Microfinance, Small Business Development, Urban & Community Economic Development

Mission: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit microenterprise development organization working to empower and increase the entrepreneurial capacities of socially and economically diverse women and men throughout the Bay Area.

Results: Over 300 businesses assisted by Renaissance launch and grow each year. Client businesses have created over 1,000 existing jobs, and generated over $25 million in combined gross annual revenues.

Target demographics: Low- to moderate-income women and men in the San Francisco Bay Area who seek economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship. 67% are women, 65% are people of color, and 12% are persons with disabilities, including HIV/AIDS.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 1,200

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area (SF SOMA; SF Bayview; East Palo Alto)


  • Training Classes - Renaissance offers practical, intensive, hands-on classes, including: Start Your Own Business, Business Basics, and Business Planning, often referred to as the “mini MBA” because of the depth and breadth of its award-winning curriculum, and the critical networks students develop. Classes are offered 20 times per year for four weeks, eight weeks and 14 weeks, respectively in both English and Spanish, and are attended by approximately 330 entrepreneurs annually. For graduates who have been in business a minimum of two years, Renaissance offers four-week Advanced Finance and Advanced Marketing. Classes include facilitated support groups and individual consulting.
  • Workshops – Renaissance offers skills-building and industry specific workshops including:  Online Marketing; Greening Your Business; Cash Squeeze: Getting the Money; Making Sense of Tax Forms; Blogging Your Way to Business Success; Business Writing; Goal Setting; etc. At least four workshops are offered each month at our three centers and at partnering locations.
  • Business Incubator – The Incubator is an on-site supportive entrepreneurial community for businesses in the start-up phase. The Incubator addresses issues of isolation new business owners often face and provides business management assistance, low-cost office space, shared meeting rooms and office equipment, reception services and monthly networking sessions. The Incubator hosts 24 businesses in a wide range of industries, from clothing designers, web developers, and bookkeepers to tutoring, graphic arts and simultaneous translation services.
  • Financing Resource Center (FRC) – Renaissance’s FRC provides financial education and technical assistance to help small business owners become better financial managers of their businesses, build and repair their credit, and access capital from local banks, SBA loan programs, non-profit lenders and private sources.
  • Women's Business Center, a partnership with the U.S. SBA – provides classes, workshops and technical assistance customized to meet the needs of the small business sectors’ most vigorous but underserved population, women entrepreneurs. WBC trainings include daytime Business Planning classes; workshops, such as Gender Communications, Work/Life Balance, Women and Leadership, Self Promotion or How to Get Ink, and Charging What You're Worth addressing contract negotiations, pricing, communications and issues of self-esteem to help combat the societal factors that lead women to devalue their services; individual technical assistance; and business/life coaching – providing women with the personal support they need to manage family and business obligations, build confidence and receive moral support and guidance.
  • Fashion Business Incubator (FIN) – The FIN is a program of our Women's Business Center, and provides fashion industry expertise to clients in the retail, fashion, apparel and home product sectors. FIN offers monthly classes, facilitated support groups, and industry-specific consulting services.
  • Technology Training and Access to Technology – Renaissance works to eliminate the “digital divide” by offering technology training focusing on microenterprise growth and development, such as QuickBooks, Excel and Internet/Email Marketing; providing access to computers, scanners and printers through our small business technology center; and operating a

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

Renaissance has been a great help to me in my personal life as well as my development as an entrepreneur. They have helped me to better understand the process of business plan development and the importance of business incubation. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful, the office is in a great location downtown, and the opportunities they provide are unmatched.