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SF Small Business Week. Celebrate Small Business.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center: Plan First & Build a Support System

#SFSBW2019 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Sharon Miller, CEO of Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center.

renaissance entrepreneurship center san francisco small business week

What is your Organization’s Mission?

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center delivers small business training and support services, helping entrepreneurial Bay Area women and men to start their own businesses or maximize existing ones.

What are the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community?

Renaissance has helped to launch and grow over 12,000 Bay Area businesses.

What tools and resources have Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center created to help small businesses tap into new opportunities to reach new customers, increase their revenue, and grow their business?

Renaissance provides intensive training classes on the introductory and business planning levels, technical assistance and loan packaging services to help entrepreneurs access capital, consulting, industry-specific training in the fashion and construction sectors, special programs for women and networking events.

What is Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners? What resources do you offer to entrepreneurs and small businesses to get started?

Renaissance offers a Lean Start Up class that uses a Business Model Canvas to help aspiring entrepreneurs create effective business models. We have also added new programs that include technology training to strengthen online sales and advanced training in the food, makers and service sectors.

San Francisco is known for its diverse culture. How does Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center ensure that the small businesses that make this city unique are able to stay in San Francisco?

76% of the clients Renaissance serves are people of color.

What words of advice or wisdom would you like to share with small business owners?

PLAN FIRST – While it is really exciting to launch your business, make sure that you are doing so with a strong plan and a great support system in place. Renaissance can help you create both.

Please share with us some real-life examples of how you’ve supported small businesses.

Renaissance was honored to work with Gillian Shaw, owner of Black Jet Bakery. We helped Gillian first structure her wholesale baking business, expand into a kiosk in the Ferry Building, access growth capital and finally open a full bakery on Cortland Street in Bernal Heights. She now employs a staff of nine and bakes some of the Bay Area’s most delicious treats.


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