The Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Program was created to fill a distinct gap in resources for entrepreneurs looking to grow or start a business. As a unique layer in the multidimensional system of support that we aim to provide, the EIR Program allows our clients to consult with an entrepreneur that has the industry or area-specific knowledge needed to help address a specific need, challenge or question.
Participants must be in business, have a viable business plan, and a proven desire to grow their business. You will also be asked to submit a well articulated challenge, question or need surrounding your business that an EIR with industry or area-specific knowledge could help with.You are not required to be a current client of the Women’s Business Center in order to submit a request to meet with an EIR. By participating in this program you will be considered a client of the Women’s Business Center (WBC).
How does it work?
- Business owners that are interested in meeting with an EIR will need to fill out our Request For EIR Consult form, which can be accessed here.
- The WBC will review your form and contact you to discuss whether the EIR program is a good fit for you. Once the WBC has determined that the EIR program is right for you we will contact one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence and share your information with them- this will include your well articulated challenge, question or business need.
- The EIR will provide us their availability and we will help you coordinate a time to meet in person or speak on the phone
- Meeting times are scheduled for one hour. Clients are expected to arrive prepared and keep a focused discussion with the EIR.
- The WBC will provide both the client and EIR with an online follow-up questionnaire to be completed and returned to the WBC after the meeting
- Unless you decide to schedule a meeting with a WBC advisor, we’ll check in with you 2-3 weeks following your EIR meeting to see how everything is going and if the WBC can be of further assistance.
Commonly Asked Questions
-Who are the Entrepreneurs in Residence and how are they chosen for this program? EIR’s are experienced entrepreneurs that have an interest in giving back to the SMB & start up community and, in particular, to women business owners. EIRs are often recognized for making a significant contribution to their industry or working to drive key industry initiatives forward.
-How does one apply to become an Entrepreneur in Residence? We are often looking for entrepreneurs with different areas of experience and expertise. If you are interested in becoming an EIR please fill out this form to submit to the WBC. Eligible entrepreneurs will be interviewed by a WBC representative and selected, upon review of the WBC team, to participate based on a variety of evaluation criteria.
-How are EIR’s different from mentors or business advisors?
The EIR program is not meant to facilitate on-going mentor-mentee relationships; rather very focused one-time meetings during which a WBC client will be able to clearly articulate a specific need, challenge or question that an EIR may be able to assist with. While services such as business advising, mentoring and workshops can be very valuable to business owners, we’ve seen a big need among business owners for industry and area-specific guidance from fellow entrepreneurs. EIR’s can function as a sounding board for ideas and help other business owners navigate the frustrations, challenges and questions that are specific to an industry or area of expertise.