The Edge is a non-profit entrepreneurial training center that provides education and support services for women and men aspiring to start, sustain, or grow a business. We began serving entrepreneurs in January of 1999, first focusing on Cobb County residents. Our reputation quickly drew entrepreneurs from the entire Metro Atlanta Area and beyond. To date, we have served more than 3000 individuals (an unduplicated count) from nearly 40 Georgia counties.
Our mission: To provide comprehensive entrepreneurial education, support, and resources targeting women, minorities, veterans, and low- to moderate-income individuals
Educational & Business Programs Sponsor Opportunities
EdgeStart is a business development program for new and start-up businesses.
This program includes an initial assessment with a client to determine, feasibility of concept, resources needed to start and business aptitude.
Phase 1 – Edge Business Canvas Model:
Participants will complete a visual proof of concept business canvas model focused on the following key points:
- Target market (customer)
- Value proposition (products/services
The completed business canvas will be used to determine if client is ready to move forward to phase 2 which is the Plan for Profit business development course or if client needs to adjust concept or do additional research before moving forward.
Phase 2 – Plan for Profit Course
Participants who have successfully completed the business canvas model assessment will participate in this 3-month business plan development course to create a comprehensive business plan. (40-50 participants per year)
Phase 3 – Business Launch Coaching
Participants who have not yet launched their business can participate in monthly group coaching to assist in the successful launch of the participant’s business
- Meet with a financial management and credit counselor to assess personalcredit and establish a business credit profile
- Formalize business structure (define, select, and implement)
- Obtain a business license (EIN, Employer Identification Number, etc.)
- Identify regulatory restrictions/compliance
- Establish a business bank account
- Identify and understand local and state taxation and incorporate necessary processes
- Acquire necessary insurance
EdgeUp – Business Coaching & Consultation
Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to meet with a variety of expert consultants at no charge. Staff experts, contract specialists, and skilled community volunteers work together to meet the needs of entrepreneurs during all phases of their business’ development. Client’s with existing businesses or recently launched can get one on one help with their business needs. Coaching & consultation
consists of help with marketing, budgeting, pricing, sales strategies, social media and loan packaging. (200-300 participants per year)
The Pearl Process Leadership Program
The PEARL (Purposeful, Engaged, and Resilient Leaders) Process is an initiative of The Edge Connection Women’s Business Center to provide communityfocused leadership development skills for women entrepreneurs. Participants in the PEARL Process receive coaching, training, and collegial support as they explore the four pillars (Life, Health, Wealth and Leadership) of the Pearl Process. The Pearl Process is supported by micro-businesses, community organizations and local businesses and institutions supporting a common goal: a commitment to the success and empowerment of women-owned businesses. (9-12 select participants per year)
Business EdgeUp – Quarterly Symposium
Business EdgeUp is a program of our Women’s Business Center. Each quarter we offer a daylong mini conference which will include a choice of 5-6 workshops, 2 business roundtable discussions, one-on-one expert coaching (HR, Accounting, Social Media or Marketing) connections to business resource partners and networking with entrepreneurs. Participants can attend for half day or full day. (80-100 participants per quarterly session)
Women’s Business Center
The Edge Women’s Business Center (WBC) received its initial funding from the
SBA in the fall of 2004 to become one of two WBCs in the state of Georgia.
Today, nearly 100 Women’s Business Centers across the United States and its
territories assist women in starting and growing small businesses. WBCs seek to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.
The InnovateHer competition is an annual event, sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. This innovation competition looks for businesses that provide products and services that improve the lives of women and their families. Each year, competitors vie for the opportunity to move forward into the national submission pool. Each host organization may submit one entry. Submissions are reviewed and top scorers are invited to Washington, D.C. to pitch their business to a prestigious panel of entrepreneurs and business experts. More than $70,000 will be given away through the national competition. Sponsorship opportunities support the winner of the local competition as seed money for their idea/business and to help defray travel costs if they are selected to participate in the national competition. (12-15 participants with 3 finalists selected for final pitch)
Sponsor the Women’s Business Center
The Edge works in partnership with Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business to provide Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Training through the GAVE (Georgia Advancing Veteran Education) Program. There are three phases to this program.
Phase 1: Boots to Business: Reboot
This two-day (16 hour) workshop is open to current and former military members and their families. This initial workshop will cover the basics of getting a business started and will serve as a primer for business plan development. (60-80 participants per year)
Phase II: Plan for Profit Course
Veterans who have completed Boots to Business: Reboot will have the chance to pitch their business and the work completed in phase I. Those with a cogent, clear, concise, and compelling pitch, will move forward to dig in deeper through the Plan for Profit 3-month business plan development course. At the end of the course, participants will again pitch their businesses. (15-20 participants per year)
Phase III: A Year of Services
- Veteran’s mixers and social events
- Free business consultation
- Veteran business mentors
- Free workshops/networking
- Veteran contracting
- Pitch competitions
4th Annual Business Launch Party
This fun and lighthearted annual celebration of small business ownership honors those business owners who have launched, sustained, or grown their business in the past year. More than 200 people typically attend this annual event that is highlighted by games, door prizes, sponsored “mock”tails, and an inspirational speaker. Business owners are given the opportunity to celebrate their hard work, connect with others, and develop relationships with resources like banks, professional services, and suppliers. Our InnovateHER and business plan competition winners are also announced and awarded at this event.
Luminary Lessons in Leadership
This event is the celebration of the culmination of the PEARL (Purposeful Engaged and Resilient Leaders) Process Leadership Development Program. This is a signature program for the Women’s Business Center, which is supported in part by the members of the PEARL Society. The event will have speakers who will share lessons in leadership with a specific focus on the areas of life, health, wealth, and leadership.
Etsy Maker Micro Expo
Etsy, the Internet marketplace with more than a million independent sellers, chose Kennesaw, Georgia (partnering with the Edge Connection) as one of 13 cities across the U.S. and Canada to be named an Etsy Maker City. Each partnering agency chose a project to promote their area craft makers. Our project, the ETSY Maker & Micro Business Expo, was held in December of 2016. We served 200 plus craft/creative entrepreneurs providing, training, inspiration, networking, resources and a pop-up sales venue. The Maker and Micro Business Expo 2017 will include a track for beginner and advanced craft handmade sellers as well as an expanded target reach of established sellers. Anticipated 2017 attendance is over 300 Metro Atlanta makers.