Module 3: Building Operational Capacity

Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator

Are you a startup founder who is transitioning from having a plan to operating a business? Or, are you an established business owner who is looking to more effectively manage your business’ operations? Are you looking to gain confidence in making decisions about future plans for your business?

Program Overview

In our Building Operational Capacity module, we guide you through a hands-on process for building internal capacities to execute on your operational plans, monitor business performance and impact, and make informed decisions about your business’ direction. This module is 12-weeks long and is well suited for entrepreneurs and managers looking to build businesses with positive community impact.

Enrollment Periods

Enrollment PeriodModule DatesApplications Due
Winter 2017January 14 – April 1
Module Closed
Spring / Summer 2017May 6 – July 22
April 21
Fall 2017September 9 – December 2
August 25


UnitTopics Covered
  • Discuss the resources and capacities needed to operate a thriving business
  • Learn how to map your business’ operational processes
  • Begin to cultivate a continuous improvement mindset around your business’ operations
Defining Key Metrics
  • Gain an understanding of how key performance indicators can be used to measure business performance and impact
  • Learn how to develop a set of key performance indicators
  • Identify key performance indicators for the business
Collecting Data
  • Learn about the data that is generated in an operating business
  • Learn about the different systems that collect, store, and report various business data
  • Develop a plan for collecting, storing, and reporting data for the business
Reading Financial Statements
  • Gain an understanding of how financial statements tell a story about the health of a business
  • Learn how to read and analyze a business’ financial statements
  • Generate and analyze financial statements for the business
Assessing the Business
  • Learn how to assess business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Learn how to engage key stakeholders in using a SWOT analysis
  • Create a SWOT analysis for the business
Setting Goals
  • Gain insights for using qualitative and quantitative business performance and impact data to inform business strategy
  • Learn how to use Objectives & Key Results to connect the business, team and personal objectives to measurable results
  • Develop Objectives & Key Results for the next year
Creating a Project Plan
  • Learn practical methods for developing and deploying a project plan
  • Gain insights on aligning project teams to deliver a project successfully
  • Engage stakeholders in developing a project plan for a strategic initiative that will significantly enhance business operations and impact over the next year
Resource Planning
  • Learn how to assess key activities and resources needed to execute on a major project
  • Learn how to engage key stakeholders in cross-functional planning
  • Engage key stakeholders in identifying key activities and resources needed to execute on a strategic initiative that will significantly enhance business operations and impact over the next year
  • Gain an understanding of how to integrate resource planning and budgeting
  • Learn how to develop and manage a budget
  • Develop an annual budget for the business that incorporates the strategic initiative that will significantly enhance business operations and impact over the next year
Building a Team
  • Learn best practices for recruiting, hiring and training new employees and independent contractors
  • Learn how to develop a hiring plan
  • Develop a hiring plan for the next year, and, if appropriate, begin the recruiting process for new team member(s)
Leading a Team
  • Discuss how a business’ culture influences its performance and impact
  • Gain insights on how founders and business leaders can set the tone for an inspired culture where values are not only defined but lived
  • Begin to build practices to cultivate an intentional and values aligned culture within the business
Final Presentations
  • Present a project plan, key measurements and budget for a strategic initiative that will significantly enhance business operations and impact over the next year
  • Receive constructive feedback from your peers and mentors to refine your business strategy

Program Format

Our Small Business & Enterprise Program modules combine the effectiveness of face-to-face learning with the convenience of distance learning. Each of our Small Business & Enterprise modules includes the following weekly activities:

Program FormatWeekly ActivityWeekly Commitment
Background Materials
  • Series of required background readings and videos on each unit to be completed prior to the weekly in-person workshop
  • Describes concepts and their applications in developing a business
  • All materials contained in our online learning environment
1-2 hours / week
  • Weekly in-person workshops led by experts in each topic
  • Lecture and discussion on background materials, group activities and reflection
  • All workshops held at Impact HUB Oakland
3 hours / week
Business Development Activities
  • Weekly activities focused on your business development
  • Apply concepts learned in background materials and workshops
  • All business development activities build to a final presentation at the end of the module
2-10 hours / week
Peer Mentoring
  • Weekly phone meetings with peer group of 3 other individuals in your class
  • Present weekly business development activity and receive constructive feedback from peers
1 hour / week
One-on-one Mentoring
  • Weekly one-on-one meetings with a mentor
  • Discuss business wins and review weekly business development activity
  • Work with mentor on connecting with resources to meet business needs
30 minutes / week


Participants in our Small Business & Enterprise Program may elect to receive 10 hours/month of co-working at Impact HUB Oakland while enrolled in one of our program modules.

Impact HUB Oakland is equal parts inspiring shared working space, entrepreneurial incubator and a membership-based community of socially engaged people, co-working and co-learning. Opened in February 2014, Impact HUB Oakland has quickly grown membership and recognition as a center for activity focused on imagining and co-creating a sustainable and equitable world.


The cost of our Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator modules consists of a monthly cash fee. We determine your cash fee using a sliding scale based on the current annual revenue of your business:

< $100,000 
Annual Revenue$100,000 – $500,000 
Annual Revenue > $500,000 
Annual Revenue
$400 / month$500 / month$600 / month

We charge a $50 non-refundable deposit to reserve your space in the class. This deposit is credited against the first payment of your monthly fee.

Because we believe cost should not be a barrier, we provide payment plan options upon request.

Cooperative Membership

To become a cooperative member of the Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator, we require a one-time contribution of an equity stake in the business that you create. We determine your equity stake using a sliding scale based on the current annual revenue of your business:

< $100,000 
Annual Revenue$100,000 – $500,000 
Annual Revenue > $500,000 
Annual Revenue
5% equity stake
4% equity stake3% equity stake

Your one-time equity stake becomes part of a pool that all Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator members participate in. As we receive dividends and capital gains from the equity stakes in the pool, we return equity to our members. Through this shared equity, we foster a greater sense of community among our members.

Membership in the cooperative is voluntary and does not affect the level of service provided in our Small Business & Enterprise Accelerator modules.