WIBO – Workshop In Business Opportunities is a Business Conference for African American and Latino startups. The conference focuses on exposing new and budding entrepreneurs to business profitability secrets. WIBO would commence on the 16th of September and holds across five locations in New York City.
WIBO business Workshop deals with helping African Americans and Latinos build sustainable businesses. It would help make these young budding business owners economically independent plus become more useful to society. The program critically hopes to reach out to women, those out of prison, and people with no access to business training. Individuals without business capital and a strong business network also stand to benefit from this laudable event.
WIBO 2019, tagged, “How to Build a Growing Profitable Business” is the 54th session and year since its inception in 1966. It was established by Walter Geier and Mal Woolfolk to bridge the success gap in business for disadvantaged individuals. The conference has helped economically empower some African Americans to not only fend for themselves but become employers of labor. The first workshop in 1966 resulted in 12 African American graduates of the WIBO program in Harlem. But since then, a minimum of 18,000 persons have successfully attended the WIBO workshop for entrepreneurs. Over 75% of WIBO trainees had their business set up and functional within a space of one year after their training. Fifty-four percent of the WIBO workshop trainees remain in business five years after training.
Over the years, not less than 65% of the WIBO workshop attendees have been African Americans, with 82% of the attendees as women. WIBO attendees have created a total of 34,000 jobs. Currently, at least 42% of the WIBO trainees experienced a geometric increase in their business profit over some time. Some WIBO workshop attendees have had their businesses running for up to 25 years since attending the training. At least 50% of the workshop attendees acknowledge that the established company is their primary source of livelihood.
The WIBO workshop runs in these five locations in New York; Harlem, Lower Manhattan, Central Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx. WIBO workshop is a 16-Weeks course to cover fundamental business and marketing courses for business startups. However, the organizers have put together an improved program with the introduction of the Entrepreneur Mindset Program (EMP). The EMP is an online course that helps WIBO attendees think critically and creatively, to promote personal development skills. The course will address everyday negative habits that can affect business growth as well as identify positive reinforcements for business growth.
Attendance to the WIBO event is, however, not free. But businesses earning less than $50,000 per annum can enjoy scholarship to the WIBO workshop. Those also eligible for a scholarship can apply; to include persons with recent prison experience, New York Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents, and veterans.
Entrepreneur agrees that there is a rise in the number of businesses owned by African Americans as of 2018. Statista shows that there were 187,602 black or African American owned firms in 1972 but rose to 2.6 million as of 2012. It shows a 34% growth within 40 years. However, only 4.2% or 109,000 of those businesses have paid employees, while 95.8% have just the business owner as staff. Programs like the WIBO workshop can help re-position African American businesses to become more profitable and global players.
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