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Entrepreneurial Success: How to Develop a Business Plan

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Program Overview

This is a 10-week business plan development certificate program designed in collaboration with Temple University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC to provide aspiring business and nonprofit entrepreneurs with the tools and information needed to create a professional business plan. The course covers all the basics you need to know to start a small business or nonprofit venture as well as grow an existing one.

In the first two modules of the series, participants conduct a feasibility study to find out if they have a viable business plan. In the next six modules, participants learn how to conduct market research, competitive intelligence and how to create financial statements. In the final modules’ participants present their completed business plans. The benefits of this class are that all participants produce a business plan by the end of the course, are eligible to receive management consulting from the Small Business Development Center and are prepared to start a small business or nonprofit or further grow their business.  

As a BONUS, participants receive 6 months of access to LivePlan, the world’s leading business plan software build for entrepreneurs. LivePlan is a web-based application that can be accessed and updated from any computer or mobile device and includes multiple contributors and guests.  LivePlan works for any type of business at any stage of development and its user-friendly step by step process takes the stress out of starting or growing a business. Once logged in, participants receive step by step instructions, prompts, definitions of key terms, and access to video and text tutorials to craft a business plan.  As participants craft their plans, examples for each section are presented.  Features such as industry benchmarking, creating powerful financial reports and sales forecasting make the development of a business plan straightforward, stress-free and provides participants with a road-map for their business to stay on track toward their goals.

How Much Does It Cost?

The fee for the certificate program is $385.

Where is it held?

Temple University Harrisburg-234 Strawberry Square Harrisburg Pennsylvania-Room 251.

Tuesday Evenings from 5:30-8:30 pm beginning April 9th through June 11th.

This program consists of ten modules on the following topics:

  1. The First Step

  2. Business Plan Basics

  3. Introduction to Marketing

  4. Market Research

  5. Competitive Intelligence

  6. Operations Management

  7. Marketing & Sales

  8. Management and Financial Considerations

  9. Preparing your Presentation

  10. Business Plan Presentation

Certificate Program Objectives

At the successful completion of the ten-module program series, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose(s) of a business plan

  • Describe the framework for developing a business plan

  • Identify their business’s target market

  • Recognize the importance of market size, market characteristics

  • Use the tools necessary to identify competition

  • Explain the concept of differentiation

  • Summarize risk assessment & insurance needs

  • Explain key human resource laws and best practices

  • Illustrate how their management style will develop company culture

  • Plan how they will produce their product/deliver their service

  • Describe basic marketing strategies

Who is this for?

This certificate program is appropriate for small business owners, those aspiring to start a business and nonprofit entrepreneurs, executive directors, and chief financial officers.


  • All participants produce a business plan by the end of the course

  • All participants are eligible to receive management consulting from the Small Business Development Center

  • All participants receive 6 months of access to LivePlan

  • All participants will be prepared to start a small business or nonprofit or further grow their business. 


Carolyn Truchon
Carolyn Truchon

Program Specialist