Rise up and be the one who can help transform your
destiny and community by becoming an entrepreneur.



First Step


Hosted by NC Community Action Association


LeRoy Thompson

Address:5 West Hargett Street, Suite 310, Raleigh, NC 27601

In Association with

Sandhills Community Action Partnership
340 Commerce Ave. Suite 20
Southern Pines, NC 28387

In Association with

I-Care Community Action Partnership
1415 Shelton Avenue
Statesville, NC 28677

Entrepreneur/Small Business Outreach Program

What is ESBOP?

The North Carolina Community Action Association (NCCAA)  and its affiliate agencies seek to build on NCCAA’s policies  to provide a wide range of programs and services having a measurable and potentially major impact on the causes of poverty. The ESBOP will target and recruit aspiring low-income individuals who have dreamed of starting a business. The program’s objective is to  help equip select  participants to rise above poverty and be the one who can help transform their own destiny and community by becoming an entrepreneur.

Who’s it For?

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to launch a new product or service, ESBOP is for you. The only pre-requisites are being income-eligible and having a business idea.  If you’re creative and community-minded, and you’re serious about turning your passion into a sustainable small business, we’re looking for you.

What to Expect

During the ESBOP in association with  I-Care and Sandhills Community Action Partnerships, you’re not being lectured. This is an action-driven, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded aspiring 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, so we’re all shaping toward success. You’ll leave the program with a deep understanding of how to create a viable business, and how to repeat that process with your next great idea.

Inspired by The Business Model Canvas

The Canvas model provides an intuitive visual map to help participants understand, organize and test their business ideas.


During the ESBOP CO-STARTER CO-HORT CURRICULUM, you’ll develop and fine-tune your business idea, building models based on your assumptions, tweaking your next steps through real-time customer feedback, learning valuable management and marketing skills and receiving constructive feedback from advisers, peers and local businesses. By honing your business and updating your approach based on real feedback and customer demand, you’ll gain the skills you need to develop a viable business model.

Week 1: Knowing Yourself (Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles)
Week 2: Knowing Your Customer (Problem, Solution, Benefit, Competition, Advantage, Customer)
Week 3: Getting the Relationship Right (Marketing & Message; Getting, Keeping & Growing Customers)
Week 4: Building the Model to Scale (Starting Small, Distribution, Revenue, Typical Sale, Price)
Week 5: Strengthening Your Structure (Business Structures, Licenses, IP, Hiring)
Week 6: Discovering the Bottom Line (Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & Variable Costs, Break-Event Point)
Week 7: Accounting for Growth (Break-Even Point, Sales Projections, Cash Flow, Accounting)
Week 8: Planning for the Future (Raising Capital, Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Pitch Prep)
Week 9: Sharing your Story
Week 10: Business Plan/Graduation
* Bonus Week- Participant’s $10,000.00 Business Pitch Contest



ESBOP CO-HORT CURRICULUM lasts ten weeks meeting one Saturday a week for three hours from 9:00am – 12:00 pm. 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.


The total course fee is $200. Fee Waiver Incentive: If an applicant  is accepted into the  ESBOP and completes 90% of the program, the course fee is 100% refundable at ESBOP completion (scholarship arrangements are available for program applicants who cannot afford the course fee).  The course includes course materials, office hours with the course facilitator to address your business development needs, networking opportunities, business plan template and other small business resources.

Program Length & Dates

April 13, 2019-June 22, 2019, on Saturdays from 9am-noon
Class meets once a week for three hours, for a total of 10 weeks.
* Bonus week- $10,000 Participant’s Pitch Contest

Statesville, NC Location

City of Statesville Recreation Center
1875 Simonton Road
Statesville, NC 28623
704-878-3429 Main

Program Length & Dates

April 6, 2019-June 15, 2019, on Saturdays from 9am-noon
Class meets once a week for three hours, for a total of 10 weeks.
* Bonus week- $10,000 Participant’s Pitch Contest

Southern Pines, NC Location

Douglass Community Center
1185 W Pennsylvania Ave
Southern Pines, NC 28387
Phone: (910) 692-7376


Application Guidelines

Whether you are simply exploring your dreams or have an idea and start-up concept, you are welcome to apply! We’re looking for aspiring entrepreneurs that represent a diverse range of ideas and backgrounds, in order to establish an exciting collaborative environment  and interaction of start-up concepts. WE SCREEN OUR APPLICANTS, AND SPACE IS LIMITED to 20 participants so APPLY NOW!


Enrollment eligibility is based on the following criteria:
1. You must qualify based on your household income not to exceed 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.
2. For the ESBOP in association with I-CARE, Inc. in Statesville, NC, you must be a resident of Iredell or Alexander County.
*Residency exemption: You may also be the parent of a currently enrolled child in the Catawba County I-CARE Head Start Program.

3. For the ESBOP in association with Sandhills Community Action, Southern Pines, NC, you must be a resident of Moore, Anson, Montgomery, or Richmond County.

Deposit & Registration

There is no application fee. If accepted into the program, a 50% deposit will be required immediately to reserve your seat and curriculum binder.  This deposit applies toward the course fee and is non-refundable. The balance of the course fee will be due March 23, 2019.

Southern Pines Application Deadline

ESBOP begins: Saturday, April 6, 2019, 9am-12pm. The Application deadline is April 1, 2019.

Statesville Application Deadline

ESBOP begins: Saturday, April 13, 2019, 9am-12pm. The Application deadline is April 8, 2019.