Oklahoma City, OK – Opportunities Industrialization Center of Oklahoma County, Inc. (OIC) prepares for the launch of the OIC Business Academy (OIC-BA), funded by the OKC Black Justice Fund. The OIC-BA is designed to teach targeted segments of the population how to start their own businesses with particular emphasis given to those who have been justice-involved, are often disqualified for start-up business assistance, and may typically be stuck in entry level employment positions.

Applications will go live Monday, January 18, 2021, and can be completed on the OIC website: www.oicokc.org. Anyone requiring assistance with the application can contact OIC at (405) 235-2651 to schedule an appointment for help. The deadline for submitting an application is Friday, February 5, 2021. Only 50 applications will be accepted for review during the submission period.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, be residents of Oklahoma County, and have a clear business idea. While all ethnic backgrounds are welcomed to apply, preference will be given to Black/African American applicants.  A completed application and 2-3 minute video will be required for consideration. 

The OIC-BA will be a 12-week comprehensive training academy with participants meeting on Tuesday and Friday evenings. Selected applicants must be able to commit to the entire 12-week period, as well as completing assigned homework, and participating in workshops and networking events. Upon successful completion of the OIC-BA, graduates will receive technology and $500 seed investment for their business.

“OIC seeks to help our brilliant citizens who need hope, a plan, and a future to be all they ought to be”, says OIC Executive Director DesJean Jones. “As an agency dedicated to education and training, OIC envisions a deep connection to assisting this population through the establishment of The OIC Business Academy. “

Through intensive training, mentorship, exposure and support, OIC seeks to teach the language of success and train them in the use of the tools required for successful entrepreneurship. In this manner, wealth creation becomes the building blocks to reveal, address and dismantle racial disparities and inequity, while supporting policies that bring us closer to racial justice, equity, and opportunity.

Final selection for the first class of the OIC-BA will be completed through an interview process. The cohort is scheduled to begin meeting both in person and virtually the week of February 22, 2021.


  1. Antoinet Webster on January 13, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    My name is Antoinet Webster and I would love to have Instant access to the Business Application opportunity that OIC is requiring!

    • DesJean Jones on January 15, 2021 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks for your inquiry Antoinet! The application and information will go live on our website on Mon Jan 18th!

  2. Gary on January 14, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    Dear OIC-BA Director. The following are comments regarding changes and details surrounding the BA. I hope my comments are received in the way intended…constructive critique. The program was announced in the Oklahoman newspaper last December (2020). In that printing the article noted a $1,000.00 plus successful completion stipend. Q. What happen to cause that change?
    It was a great financial incentive feature for the program. Sufficient to plan and prepare a small budget to cover minimal start up cost including minor equipment, specific training, certification, and testing fees. All due respect, but $500 stipend is like the latest stimulus check.
    Also, the program description at website lacks details…”teaching the language” of success is okay, but lay-people want to learn the basics, i.e. how to: develop an idea(s) (and don’t pre-judge), how to produce a written plan/proposal, how to estimate expenses/income, and, how to research the market.
    Twelve weeks is such a long period for targeted population. Full day Saturday classes would attract more participants.
    That said, I’m very appreciative of OIC for offering this important opportunity for underserved “Business Dreamers” to start the journey toward business ownership.

    • DesJean Jones on January 15, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you Gary for your inquiry and comments. Our goal is to teach the community to start a business and to give particular attention to their needs which, we feel, are often overlooked in more traditional small business start-up trainings. We added the stipend to our original proposal for funding because it is a true game-changer and a difference-maker from other business training entities. This is a moving and flexible endeavor that we are building from the ground. The $1k was changed to make room for other offerings for the cohort members selected. While $500 may seem like a “stimulus check” it is not intended to actually start the business; it is intended to express our belief in the individuals who submit to the process. It doesn’t have to be more because it doesn’t have to be given at all. With our first cohort, we will no doubt be making adjustments and tweaks so I am not expecting a perfect setup but a sincere one. The program description on the website lacks detail because it is unfinished. As noted in the article, it will “go live” on Mon Jan 18th and all details will be available at that time. Twelve weeks is a long period of time. But as you may know, starting a business is not a comfortable endeavor–it will require grit, tenacity and commitment…all skills which will begin with this Academy. While Saturday may draw more participants, Tues and Fri evenings will require more sacrifice–and that is what they will need to start successful businesses. Thank you for your inquiry, comments and appreciation.

      – DesJean Jones, OIC
      Executive Director