Building Capacity in Women Entrepreneurs to Start and Run Sustainable SMEs

Our Arizona Hub team, based at Arizona State University, has been hard at work. Project Co-Leads Dr. Arnim Wiek and Dr. George Basile, and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Nigel Forrest, have organized a number of programs and events on expanding the capacity of entrepreneurs to start and run sustainable SMEs.

Most recently, in collaboration with graduate students Nick Shivka, Hanna Layton, and Huda Khalife, the team provided an 8-week business incubation program for 8 female entrepreneurs aspiring to create a sustainable, employee-owned beverage (Kombucha) business

The program adapted to COVID-19 ‘shelter in place’ restrictions and was offered in a hybrid format – partly online, and partly in-person.  It included input sessions on operational, legal, financial, and marketing content, virtual site visits, role-play for cooperative business training, and tailored coaching.  At the half-point of the training modules, ownership was handed over to the entrepreneurs themselves, offering more assistance and coaching. 

Overall, the participating entrepreneurs developed beverage products, a start-up budget, an operational budget, a business plan, and a pitch for their vision.  On completion of the program, participants reported a renewed commitment to starting their business in Phoenix and contributing to the momentum of sustainability in the small-business food and beverage industry there.


For more information on capacity building workshops lead by Arizona State University, please contact:


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