Starting Your Business 101

Starting Your Business 101 is a five-week intro-level business development course that helps aspiring entrepreneurs put their “Big Ideas” into action.

Spring 2024 Class

Status: Applications are currently closed.

Start Date: April 24th, 2024

Location: KEC Office | Knoxville, TN

Program Fee: $100


If you’re a new and/or novice business owner, Starting Your Business 101 is for you. Starting Your Business 101 helps you build your business plan in a flexible community environment.

The only real prerequisites are: having a business idea you’re ready, willing and excited to share and work on; and a willingness to study, shape and fine-tune that idea in a supportive, collaborative and welcoming environment.


This isn’t your parent’s business plan class. This is an action-driven, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded entrepreneurs, led by a facilitator who’ll introduce concepts and help you immediately put them to work. We’ll discuss concepts, problems and solutions during class; you’ll apply them to your project or business during the week; and we’ll review and fine-tune together. You’ll leave the program with a better understanding of how to create a viable business.




Week 1: Know Thy Self, Know Thy Customer 

In this session, students will work through discussions and activities to help them better understand their unique strengths, why they want to start a business, and how that helps them serve their customer. They will develop avatars for their target customer and dive into details of who they are, what problems their customer is facing, and how the student can solve those challenges. Students will also assess the competitive landscape of their market and how they could diversify themselves.

Week 2: Showing Up and Sharing Your Story

This week we will be focusing on the importance of storytelling and connections as it relates to building a business. Students will also learn important best practices in marketing/sales and begin creating a marketing plan along with a list of organizations to connect with and aspects of their story they want to share and how that can get woven into their marketing strategy.

Week 3: Building A Sustainable Business

Students will work on the basic building blocks of a sustainable business – costs, pricing, product/service offerings and putting together their MVP. They will also look at their business village and what connections they are needing in that village to thrive.

Week 4: Financials and Capital

Students will understand the 4 primary financial documents: Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Cash Flow Statement – their differences, uses, and high-level understanding of what goes into each. We will also discuss the primary sources of capital for businesses plus the pros, cons, and uses for each.

Week 5: Legal, Taxes, and Business Building Checklist

In the final class we talk about “the scary stuff” as it relates to owning a business. Students will understand the different legal structures for a business, how taxes work in those different entities, intellectual property, insurance type & finding an agent, and the “order of operations” for their business when they exit this program.


“Starting Your Business 101” lasts five weeks, meeting one evening a week for three hours. Facilitators include educators and active entrepreneurs, and guest speakers include specialists and professionals from leading marketing, branding, legal and finance firms and agencies, as well as local entrepreneurs.



Week 1: April 24, 2024 | 5:30 – 8:30 PM

Week 2: May 1, 2024 | 5:30 – 8:30 PM

Week 3: May 8, 2024 | 5:30 – 8:30 PM

Week 4: May 15, 2024 | 5:30 – 8:30 PM

Week 5: May 22, 2024 | 5:30 – 8:30 PM


The course fee is $100 dollars and includes materials. Full payment is required at the start of your first session. This fee is non-refundable.

KEC will send out an invoice through PayPal or Stripe to receive your payment. 


Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about the “Starting Your Business 101” class. 

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