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 looking to build businesses with positive community impact.

Enrollment Periods

Enrollment PeriodModule DatesApplications Due
Winter 2019January 19 – April 13January 4
Spring / Summer 2019May 11 – August 3April 26
Fall 2019September 14 – December 7August 30


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
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
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
Analyzing Customer Lifetime Value
  • Learn why customer lifetime value is one of the most important metrics needed to make operational decisions
  • Learn how to calculate customer lifetime value
  • Calculate customer lifetime value for each product/service offered
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
  • Select a strategic initiative that will significantly enhance business operations and impact over the next year, and develop a project plan for that initiative
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
  • Identify key activities and resources needed to execute on your project plan
Budgeting a Project
  • Gain an understanding of the elements of a project budget
  • Learn how to translate a project plan into a detailed project budget
  • Develop a detailed project budget for your project plan
  • Learn how to forecast the effects of the project on ongoing business operations
  • Update your financial forecast to reflect the project budget and the project’s effects on ongoing business operations
  • Learn how to summarize and present the financial forecast to key stakeholders
Understanding Cash Flow
  • Learn how to forecast and manage cash flow
  • Gain an understanding of how to use the cash flow forecast to determine short and long-term funding needs
  • Develop a cash flow projection and identify funding needs for 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


Must have an up-to-date business plan and financial forecast.

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


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.