Premier Incubator Program for Women of Color Entrepreneurs at HBCUs

The WBENC Women of Color Incubator is a premier program designed for Black female student entrepreneurs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This incubator provides the next generation of Black women entrepreneurs with the resources, community and support they need to strengthen their idea and grow their early-stage ventures.

Students accepted into the incubator will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with subject matter experts from some of the most successful women-owned businesses and America’s largest Fortune 500 companies.

The Incubator culminates with a Pitch Competition awarding thousands of dollars in seed capital and the opportunity to receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend the 2025 WBENC National Conference in New Orleans, LA, for FREE to access a network of 4,000+ attendees.

Upon program completion, graduates will continue their engagement with WBENC via programs such as NextGen, the Collegiate Accelerator Program and continued participation in the Women of Color Program.

Incubator Prize Packages

The Incubator at WOC Incubator at North Carolina A&T will culminate with a Pitch Competition awarding seed funding prize packages:

  • Pitch Competition Award: $5,000
  • Business Innovation Award: $3,000
  • Audience Choice Award: $1,000

Apply now through Friday, September 6, 2024, at 11:59pm EST. Spots in the program are limited.

Program Dates

September 18 – October 30

Location

Zoom Meetings with Pitch Competition at North Carolina A&T Campus

APPLY NOW

 

Class Schedule

Attendance at all in-person and virtual session dates are mandatory for acceptance into the 2024 Incubators.

  • Session 1: Wed, Sep 18, 5:00 – 7:00 PM EST – Incubator Kickoff | Virtual via Zoom
  • Session 2: Wed, Sep 25, 5:00 – 7:00 PM EST – Refining Ideas & Opportunities | Virtual via Zoom
  • Session 3: Wed, Oct 2, 5:00 – 7:00 PM EST – Creating Prototypes & Experiments | Virtual via Zoom
  • Session 4: Wed, Oct 9, 5:00 – 7:00 PM EST – Understanding Revenues & Expenses | Virtual via Zoom
  • Session 5: Wed, Oct 16, 5:00 – 7:00 PM EST – Preparing for Effective Launch | Virtual via Zoom
  • Session 6: Wed, Oct 23, 5:00 – 7:00 PM EST – Perfecting Your Pitch | Virtual via Zoom
  • Session 7: Wed, Oct 30, 5:00 – 8:00 PM EST – Incubator Pitch Competition | On NCAT Campus
WOC Incubator at North Carolina A&T State University
WBENC WOC Program Founding Sponsors
“At the beginning of my journey with WBENC, I had no idea how far the incubator would push me in regard to my business, let alone my confidence. Working with the individuals who lead this incubator allowed me to discover potential I didn't realize I had. What started off as a small idea birthed into something great over the few short weeks. The program speaks for itself, as long as you apply the advice given to you, failure is not an option. You get to leave with a different level of knowledge and understanding for what it is you're pursuing, along with access to a variety of people who are simply waiting for the opportunity to help those who need it. With the tools and advice provided to me, I was able to win first place at my first business pitch competition. Thanks to WBENC, this is just the beginning of my journey."
Cayla Jackson
Founder & CEO, A Knew U
Cayla Jackson
"Starting a business seemed daunting, but the WBENC WOC Incubator offered invaluable knowledge and a supportive network. A personal breakthrough for me was in the area of pitching, which transformed from a chore into an opportunity to share my passion and vision. The program's flexible format accommodates different learning styles and paces. A standout moment was when I finally pitched my idea and heard the applause, realizing I had achieved my goal. The WBENC WOC Incubator is a launchpad for your business dreams, wrapped in a community that supports, challenges, and celebrates you."
Tia Pope
Founder & CEO, Malva Mallow
Tia Pope
"Applying for the WBENC WOC Incubator was one of the best decisions I made this year! I already started a small business, applied, and the weekend before the program started, I got a new business idea and decided to work on it during the program. In weeks, our informative sessions, their guidance, and office hours turned my idea into a full business ready to start! Regardless of whether you win the competition money, you walk away with so much knowledge and encouragement that you are destined to succeed! I recommend that anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship or has a business idea apply!"
Naomi Gorham
Founder & CEO, The Creation Space
Naomi Gorham
"The WBENC WOC Incubator provided me with the much need insight on how to structure and market my business. Each session was well organized and provided me with in-depth examples. The incubator office hours added a complementary layer to the program, in which we were able to get support from top professionals in the industry. I found office hours to be supportive, attentive, and productive. I am grateful for the WBENC WOC Incubator community and our ability to connect on our shared experiences as professionals, business owners, and entrepreneurs."
Chantel Brookes
Founder & CEO, Luck Lotus Holistic Care, LLC
Chantel Brookes
Why Participate
Black female student entrepreneurs or recent graduates accepted into the WOC Incubator will learn how to test the viability of their ideas and discover how to transform their idea to a minimum viable product. Participants will engage in entrepreneurship curriculum taught by subject matter experts from some of the most successful women-owned businesses and America’s largest Fortune 500 companies. The Incubator will culminate with a Pitch Competition awarding a thousand dollars in seed capital and the opportunity to attend the WBENC National Conference in New Orleans, LA for FREE to access a network of 4,000+ attendees.
Who Should Apply

Applicant Eligibility

  • Women of Color female student entrepreneur
  • Applicant must be enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University or a recent graduate within the last 12months of the University.
  • Have a business idea or early-stage venture
  • Ability to participate in all scheduled classes held in Eastern Standard Time. Accepted applicants will be required to attend the entire incubator, inability to attend the entire incubator will result in not being accepted.
  • Completion of the online application, including an essay stating the desire to attend the incubator and how the program would enable you for future growth and success and resume.
  • Applicants are selected on first come, first serve based on their comprehensive application, no one element is weighted more.

Contact aawasom@wbenc.org for more information.

WOC Incubator Cohort FAQs
  • Who should consider applying for this Incubator?
    • Aspiring Entrepreneur: Students with a business idea looking to develop it into a thriving business.
    • Early-Stage Entrepreneur: Students who have already launched their business idea but would like to learn how to scale it to new heights.
  • Who is eligible to apply for the Incubator?
    • The WOC Incubator at NC A&T is open to all individuals who are students at NC A&T, regardless of major or class standing.
  • How many participants are typically in each cohort?
    • The cohort size ranges from 30 to 60 entrepreneurs.
  • Who will teach the sessions during the Incubator?
    • The sessions will be facilitated by accomplished women-owned business owners who are subject matter experts in each topic.
  • Where will the sessions be held?
    • Sessions for the WOC Incubator at NC A&T will be conducted in a virtual format via Zoom Meetings with the culminating Pitch Competition in-person on the NC A&T campus.
  • When are the sessions scheduled to take place?
    • WOC Incubator at NC A&T sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 PM EST, starting on Wednesday, September 18. Please see the class schedule section of this page for more information.
How To Apply
  • APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN
  • Applications for the 2024 WOC Incubator at NCAT are now open and will close on Friday, September 6, 2024, at 11:59pm EST. Spots in the program are limited.
  • Attendance at all in-person and virtual session dates are mandatory for acceptance into the 2024 Incubators.
  • Apply Now
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