Tuck-WBENC Strategic Growth Program, brought to you by IBM



September 22 – September 27, 2019


IBM Louis Gerstner Center for Learning, Armonk, NY

The Gerstner Center for Learning, also referred to the as GCL, defines modern functionality, technology, and beauty, making it the ideal business destination for training, learning, or any type of corporate event. The GCL offers 15,000 square feet dedicated IACC Certified meeting space, including a state-of-the-art auditorium, multiple meeting rooms and breakout rooms, recreational space, a fitness center with an indoor basketball court, four outdoor tennis courts, and 182 comfortably appointed queen deluxe guest rooms, each offering a haven of relaxation and productivity with scenic views.

Program Features

The Tuck-WBENC Strategic Growth Program (SGP), brought to you by IBM, is for Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) who are dedicated to the advancement and success of their business. This six-day intensive course is designed for WBEs and their executive teams who are ready to plan and execute a business strategy that will elevate their company to the next level.

Companies need a strong overall understanding of the strategic direction, the underlying financial controls, and the access to capital that are necessary for growth. To grow, the companies require a clear vision of how to better communicate their company’s message, and to make sure their strategy and operations align with the messaging and reputation of the company. Companies must also be aware of the new tools and business models available to them due to changes in digital technologies. Finally, companies need to know about partnering strategies, acquisitions, and potential exit options to take their business to the next level.

Building upon the fundamentals taught in the Tuck-WBENC Executive Program (EP), brought to you by IBM, the SGP curriculum will focus on growth strategies. Participants will build a one-page business canvas for growth. The curriculum will guide WBEs and their teams through these topics: 

  • Build a Foundation with Financial Strategy and a Business Strategy for Growth

  • Examine Business Models in the Digital Information Environment

  • Learn Financial Strategies to Scale

  • Understand the Importance of Brand, How to Build It, and How to Communicate It

  • Learn How to Manage the Overall Business Ecosystem - Including Partnerships, Joint Ventures, Mergers, Acquisitions, as well as Entrant and Exit Strategies

  • Understand the Long-Term Implications on Customers and Suppliers

  • Establish Action and Implementation Plans

Below is a sample schedule of the six-day Strategic Growth Program experience:


Program attendees will leave the program with actionable insights that will lead their company to experience growth and increased value.

Candidate Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) who have completed the Tuck-WBENC Executive Program, have a minimum of 5 years of executive management experience, and are poised for growth.

WBEs may be accompanied by an executive officer from their firm who meets the eligibility requirements and is dedicated to the growth and success of the WBE.

The SGP has been designed for WBEs who have completed the Tuck-WBENC Executive Program and have implemented the lessons taught in the Executive Program. Additionally, applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the program:

  • Successfully completed the Tuck-WBENC Executive Program

  • Current WBENC-Certified WBE in good standing

  • Must be the majority owner of the company

  • Have a minimum of five years of experience operating a business

  • Maintain a minimum annual sales volume of $1,000,000

Additionally, the WBE may be accompanied by an executive officer from their company to participate in the program. Each executive officer must meet the following criteria and complete an application to be eligible for the program:

  • Currently an executive officer and in the position for at least one year

  • Have at least 5 years of senior management experience

  • Maintain some business decision making capability within the company

  • Must directly report to the WBE applicant

While this program does not require WBEs to a bring member of their executive team, it is required that the WBE be present for the entirety of the program and may not send an executive in lieu of their participation.

Application Deadline & Program Fees

The application period is now closed for 2019.

Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full, at which time we will continue to review and accept applications until the closing date and place those WBEs on a wait list.

The program fee for self-pay individuals is $4,900 which includes tuition, course materials, accommodations, and meals (Sunday evening – Friday on site). Applicants must establish payment with the program coordinator within seven business days of acceptance into the program.

Cancellation Policy for Individual Payees

If the applicant withdraws from the program 60 days before the program start date, they are entitled to a full refund. If cancellation occurs within 60 days of the start date or the applicant does not complete the program in its entirety, they will be charged $1,500 and the remaining balance will be refunded to the applicant within 30 days.

Cancellation for Other Payee Types

If the applicant withdraws from the program 60 days before the program start date, they must notify WBENC. If cancellation occurs within 60 days of the start date or the applicant does not complete the program in its entirety, they will be charged $1,500 which must be remitted via credit card. Please call the accounting department within ten business days to remit: (202) 315-1490.

All Participants

Participant is responsible for indirect costs incurred, including, but not limited to, travel, meals or accommodations outside of the program dates. Those accepted into the program must complete the entire program to graduate. Acceptance into the program may not be deferred to the following program year to avoid cancellation fees.

Those accepted to the program must complete the entire program to graduate. Partial attendance, including tardiness to class, excessive absences during class, or late arrival or early departure will not be eligible for graduation.

Scholarship Opportunities

The Tuck-WBENC Strategic Growth Program (SGP), brought to you by IBM, qualifies for the Dorothy B. Brothers Scholarship Fund. Interested applicants should complete the scholarship application within one business day of submitting their application, but no later than the application deadline. There are a limited number of scholarships awarded annually.

Contact the Tuck Program manager at tuck@wbenc.org if you have questions about a specific scholarship opportunity. 

Sponsorship Opportunities

Individual WBE Sponsorship $6,000
One qualified WBENC-Certified WBE may be selected by the sponsor.*

*If the applicant is selected from outside the internal applicant list, the WBE must be approved by WBENC and meet the program criteria as stated on the WBE application form. The hotel, food and beverage, tuition and materials will be covered during their stay. Earlier hotel check-in and all transportation costs should be covered by the WBE.

Contact Information

Contact the Tuck program manager with questions about the program or about sponsorship opportunities at tuck@wbenc.org