2022 Cohort Graduation

On Saturday, March 25 the 2022 $1,000 Start-Ups Cohort graduated from the program in a ceremony at the annual Spring Into Action Small Business Fair at the Peck Center Gymnasium. These eleven graduates bring the number of small businesses started in our program to 30 in the three years since we began.  It is thanks to your ongoing support and that of our entire community that these entrepreneurs are able to pursue their passions, provide for their families and to contribute to the local economy. 

Please take a moment to listen to the Graduates speak about their experiences in this short video. Their gratitude and appreciation for the program inspires and motivates us to continue to work hard to improve and expand the curriculum that empowers successful business and entrepreneurship. We are proud of the impact $1,000 Start-Ups has had on their personal and professional growth!

Owning a business is the deal changer
that puts you in control!

Congratulations, Graduates!

Click on logos below to learn more about these businesses.

Thanks to all of the vendors and guests who attended our
Spring Into Action Small Business Fair!

Now Accepting Applications for the 2023 Program which begins May 10!

$1,000 Start-Ups 2023 Program

We are now accepting applications for the 2023 program which begins on May 10 and concludes on January 27, 2024. We encourage you to share this information with someone you know who has the heart and desire to start a business!

The $1,000 Start-Ups Cohort is guided through every step of starting and growing a successful small business in 26 one-hour sessions taught on Zoom led by Leah Ward-Lee with occasional professional guest presenters. Meeting on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-6:30 and Saturday mornings from 10-11, the sessions alternate between course material and homework presentations that allow the Cohort members to not only learn from the material, but from each other.

In a very practical application, four small business fairs are held throughout the year.  The first is the Prototype fair that allows the Cohort to test the marketability of their products or services in a limited environment with friends, family, former graduates, donors, and supporters.  Three additional small business fairs are open to the public and include other area small businesses who are invited to display at no cost. This collaboration allows the cohort to learn from established businesses, grow their network, increase their customer base and revenue, and circulate money within the local community.

Cohort members in good standing are reimbursed up to $1,000 business start-up or growth funding upon fulfillment of required milestones.    

The enrollment process includes an interview with the lead instructor. During this interview mutual expectations are established before a written contract is signed. $1,000 never asks participants for money or for an ownership stake in their business. The application process begins at 1000dollarstartups.org/start.


Follow us on Instagram and Facebook Page and Group to stay up to date on events, resources, and updates, as well as to engage in discussions with other small business owners.


Your tax deductible donation to $1000 Start-Ups helps us to continue to provide training, support, and opportunities for the development of small business in our community.


Community members are encouraged to attend the fairs to discover new and existing small business and to support economic growth in the local community.