Business Academy

Are YOU Ready??!

Let's build your dream of owning your own business!

Welcome to your future! If you have ever dreamed of starting your own business, but felt unsure of how to do it, the OIC Business Academy 4-week class may be for you.


Phase 1: Business 101

Beginning level business prep to help entrepreneurs establish their new business venture

For more information...

Phase 2: Prepare to Launch

Through a 12-week academy, OIC will expose you to all levels of starting your business from name, mission, and vision to budget projections, legal filings and marketing. It won't be easy...but if it was, everyone would do it.

For more information...

Phase 3: Think Tank

Think Tank is the consultative arm of the OIC Business Academy to provide comprehensive evaluation of existing African-American businesses (with fewer than 5 employees) and make recommendations towards achieving established goals in 5 key areas: legal, operations, marketing, technology, and customer service/hospitality.

For more information... and To Apply!


DesJean Jones smiling
DesJean Jones, OIC Executive Director

Click Here to Apply for Phases 1 or 2!

Thank You to our generous grant sponsor for your support!

Bank of America


Details of OIC-BA

OIC-BA will begin accepting applications for its SIXTH cohort (Spring launch pending).  Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and have a clear business idea.  While all ethnic backgrounds are welcomed to apply, preference will be given to Black/African American applicants and those who have been justice involved.   A completed application will be required for consideration. There is no fee to APPLY, but selected participants will be required to pay a commitment fee.  Applications will be evaluated with interviews.  Decisions will be relayed by email.

OIC-BA Program Content

12-week training academy

Participants will meet on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.  Selected applicants must be able to commit to the entire 12-week period, as well as completion of assigned homework, and participation in workshops and networking events.

Seed Investment

Upon successful completion of the 12-week training, OIC-BA cohort graduates will receive a $500 seed money investment for the start of their business! This benefit is to communicate that the OIC-BA believes in YOU!

Attendance Policy

Each session of the OIC-BA Academy will be a working session, designed to build the components of your business. Every session counts and every session matters.  Attendance will be strictly enforced. Two absences may result in dismissal from the OIC-BA cohort.

Technology & Equipment Support

Technology is a critical part of every business venture. Technology/equipment will be available to use for members of the cohort as needed during their training within the Academy. At every step of the way, the OIC-BA will be a part of your support team!

Mentorship & Networking

Starting a business is always a challenge. Through participation in the OIC-BA, cohort participants will be paired with mentors to provide support and encouragement; make introductions to industry professionals; and create opportunities with vendors. Because you want to be a baller, we're going to introduce you to the rest of them!

Marketing & Promotions

In addition to helping develop your business idea and plan, the OIC-BA will also work with you to prepare your business pitch and professional headshots.  It will take 12 weeks to build the magic, but we're going to teach you how to shine!

Phase 1 of OIC Business Academy - Made with PosterMyWall
Phase 2 of OIC Business Academy - Final-min
Phase 3 of OIC Business Academy-min


More details about OIC-BA

Every business won't need 12-weeks of training. OIC also has TWO other phases:

(1) OIC-BA (Phase 1): Business 101 

Introductory coursework for preparation of the entrepreneur for enduring the establishment of a new business venture. Objectives:

o To clarify the vision of the business
o To identify and resolve personal traits that will impact business success
o To establish the initial foundation of the business
o To resolve ambiguity of the entrepreneur by evaluating (1) readiness, (2) work ethic, (3) articulation of business concept, and (4) understanding of business commitment


(2) OIC-BA (Phase 2): The Academy

The comprehensive training curricula to prepare entrepreneurs for business launch. The 12-week coursework exposes, refines and enlightens businessowners of every step needed for successful business launch to include startup costs, branding, marketing, logo development, etc. Objectives:

o To solidify business concepts
o To expand and further develop business presence and operations
o To establish financing and investment avenues
o To breathe life into the business, making it a functioning enterprise

(3) OIC-BA (Phase 3): Think Tank

The consultative arm of the OIC-BA to provide comprehensive evaluation of existing African American businesses (with fewer than 5 employees) and make recommendations toward achieving established goals in five keys areas: legal, operations, marketing, technology, and customer service/hospitality. Objectives:

o To strengthen African American businesses
o To reinforce sustainability and competitive edge
o To provide a brain trust of insight, solutions-based whiteboard topics, and access to resources
o To provide workshops that reinforce networking and community growth


During the application period, we'll help figure out which Phase is best for you!



Application period for Cohort #6 (Spring launch pending).

Only 15 applicants will be selected.


When you're ready to submit your application, see the GREEN LINK below.  

We look forward to meeting you!

Your future is waiting!

If you have any problems with the application link, please contact us at or call 405.235.2651