Traditional Plan It!

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Interested in opening a for-profit business venture?

Traditional Plan It! training classes help emerging entrepreneurs learn the fundamentals of running a business and develop a solid business plan. As a part of our continuing commitment to small businesses and the community, NDC, in conjunction with Neighborhood Partners, helps to reduce barriers to small business success for residents in the Twin Cities metro area who want to learn the skills needed to start and operate their own small business.

“At the time, there’s no way we could have done what we’ve done without NDC.”

Sonora Grill, Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis

Entrepreneur Training

Thank you for your interest in our Traditional Plan It! Entrepreneur training class. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting applications for spring 2023.

If you would like to be notified when we begin accepting applications for this training class, please click the Get Updates button to complete our Training Interest Form.

Course Information

Program Selection Criteria

We are looking for participants who:

  • Plan to open a business within one of our targeted neighborhoods in the Twin Cities metro area:
    • University Corridor – St. Paul
    • North End
    • East Side St. Paul
    • West Side St. Paul (not West St. Paul in Dakota County)
    • West Seventh Neighborhood
    • North Minneapolis
    • North East Minneapolis
    • South Minneapolis (not including Uptown)
    • Brooklyn Park
    • Brooklyn Center
  • Have a clear and focused business idea that you want to pursue or expand.
  • Business idea is for-profit ventures (not including Real Estate, Non-profit, and Transportation out of state business ventures).
  • Looking for someone that is committed and will make every effort to complete the course, create a business plan, and meet the expectations of the trainer.
  • The participant understands the diligence and time a new or expanding business requires, and is at a place in their life where they are willing to devote that time.

Class Structure

Plan It! classes meet weekly online through Zoom Video Conferencing once a week for two hours for 12 sessions over 15 weeks.

Maximum class size is 15 business ideas. Need a minimum of six participants, who have paid their course fee, for a class to run.

Participants will have up to ten hours to meet with their class trainer outside of class, to get personalized feedback and support in developing their business plan.

Session topics covered: attributes and planning for business success, target market, competitive analysis, marketing & branding, credit & financing, management & operations, financial planning and more.

Schedule 20-minute Interview

Please understand that submitting your application is an indication of interest. Once you complete the online application, the next step will be to schedule a 20-minute informal interview with Class Trainer, a NDC Training Department Staff, and Neighborhood Partner representative, which will be conducted online through Zoom. The purpose of this interview is to learn more about you and your business idea. We will select individuals from the pool of applicants after all the interviews have been completed.

Be advised, that we will begin sending out emails to schedule interviews between January 9 – 20, 2023. These interviews will take between January 24 — February 3, 2023, and will be virtual through Zoom.

Payment Policy

Class fees are determined on a sliding scale ($150 – $650), based on household income, family size, and if you live or plan to operate your business in one of our priority neighborhoods.

Unless otherwise negotiated, payment is due before you attend orientation. Payment plans are available upon request; the total class fee must be paid by the start of session 4.

Course FAQ

Who should apply to take Plan It!?

People with a business idea in mind, but desire professional knowledge on how to actualize business plans.

What are the benefits of graduating from the class?

  • Join a growing network of more than 4,500 NDC alumni
  • Professional consulting services for program graduates in business
  • Access to low-cost accounting services
  • Access to Pro Bono Legal services. (Note: Pro bono services are not available to participants whose household or business income exceeds NDC Guidelines or those residing or operating their businesses out of the NDC targeted service area. Pro Bono legal services are available on a limited basis and are subject to attorney availability. Client is responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses, such as filing or recording fees).
  • Eligibility to apply for loans
  • Invitation to the Annual Entrepreneur Awards honoring outstanding program graduates

Who are the trainers?

Professional consultants with small business expertise, teaching acumen and cultural competence.

How many students are in a class?

Typically, 8-12 students.

Is this program offered in any languages other than English?

Yes! It’s also offered in Hmong, Oromo, Somali and Spanish.

When does the class meet and for how long?

The class meets one evening a week for two hours.  Class dates vary based on community.

How much is this class?

Program fees are determined on a sliding scale ($150-$650), based on household income and family size.

What types of businesses have graduates started after finishing this class?

Program graduates successfully operate businesses in child care, graphic design, catering, landscaping, construction, auto repair, restaurants, taxi services and a variety of other industries.

Do I have to open my business in a specific neighborhood?

You can open your business wherever you like, however if you’re seeking additional resources from NDC you will need to open your business in one of our targeted demographic areas.

Do I have to start my business right away?

You’re not required to immediately start your business upon completion of the training program.  Starting a business and becoming a successful entrepreneur is an individual process, so the time frame is solely up to you.  When you are ready and your business plan is complete, we encourage you to let us know so that we can provide the necessary help and assist you in getting started.

Once I complete the class, what do I do next?

If you have used your one-on-one hours with your trainer, your business plan is complete and you are ready for the second phase of becoming an entrepreneur, call us and we can provide additional business services (i.e. legal assistance, marketing, record keeping, loans).