The SPARK Program

Since August of 2011, 121 out of 133 women (91%) have completed the program with skills needed to launch a small business. Thirty-eight businesses have been successfully launched. All thanks to our corporate and individual sponsors, facilitators, mentors, class coordinators, and especially SCORE and the North Central ISBDC (Indiana Small Business Development Center).  


SPARK'S MISSION

To cultivate the entrepreneural capacity of women with a combination of personal education, business training, and ongoing professional mentoring to sustainably advance beyond socio-economic boundaries and achieve self-sufficiency. 

You can make your dream a reality.  First, you need to determine if you are ready to start your own business by attending the Entrepreneurial Screening. The next step is SPARK's Pre-venture Accelerator. This course provides you with a blueprint for developing your business idea.  It includes training in financial accounting and management, planning, marketing and other business skills that will give you the tools necessary to start or expand your own business. What's more, you will develop the self confidence to start and grow your own business!   

Course Information

  • Entrepreneurial screening interviews begin in August. 
  • Pre-Venture Accelerator training is an 11 week course which meets two times a week on Tuesday and Thursday. Classes start in September. Classes are three hours and offered in the morning session from 9:00 a.m. to noon, or in the evening session from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please note there will be homework assignments which will require an additional 4-8 hours or more per week. 
  • The cost of the program in 2015 was $200 (non-refundable) due the first day of class. There is a additional cost of $35 for a book fee.  These fees are subject to change. 


Post Graduation Benefits Re-Kindle the Flame program. This program includes:

  • Once-a-month post training for six consecutive meetings.
  • Re-Kindle the Flame membership (optional and highly recommended)
  • Financial Services Guidance/Business Builder Loan Program
  • The SPARK program has collaborated with two other complementary small business support organizations to create TEAM (The Entreprenurship Alliance of Michiana). TEAM includes the North Central ISBDC and SCORE of Michiana. Advisors will continue to work with SPARK graduates. For more information go to the TEAM website.

So GO FOR IT!  What do you have to lose!  We WANT you to be successful!

For more information contact:

Joan McClendon
Associate Director, WEI
(574) 284-5275
Email: jmcclendon@saintmarys.edu