Flagship Course

Foundations Business Planning

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Join a cohort of aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to gain all of the foundational business skills needed to turn your business dream into a reality.




6 Weeks

Payment details: The course fee is $445. Upon enrollment, a minimum deposit of 50% of the total is due to reserve your seat (if you are not applying for a scholarship). We will follow up with an email confirmation of your placement within a few business days. A pay link will be included in your email confirmation for submitting any remaining class balances.

Scholarship details: If you live in a rural WNC location, have a low-to-moderate income, or are an agricultural business, you may qualify for a partial scholarship. Each class offering has a limited number of scholarships and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Apply in the class registration form.

If you have questions or concerns please email scholarship@mountainbizworks.org.

Delivered to tens of thousands of entrepreneurs over 25 years, Mountain Bizworks' Foundations Business Planning course has helped entrepreneurs build a solid strategy on how to go from dreamer to entrepreneur.

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Previous Learner

"The Foundations Business Planning course made me realize I could take my side hustle full time, now almost 15 years later I haven’t looked back."

Cara Steinbuchel, Founder, Cara Mae Naturals

Course Breakdown

In 18 hours over 6 weekly sessions, participants will develop key foundational business knowledge, operations, financials, research and development, and marketing strategies.

Leave the course with a business plan, a clear vision for your business, and concrete tasks for future work.

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Stepping Onto the Path

Understanding entrepreneurship, your path, business model, and the steps ahead.  


Laying the Foundation

Take a look at business structures, business operations, defining our “lines” of business, and analyzing financial essentials, from overhead costs to break-even points.


Telling Your Story

Creating pricing that works, customer relationships, and finding the value in marketing, and branding that works.  


Making Money

Understanding the sales process and forecasting.  


Feedback and Financing

Gain perspective from your cohort peers and have a chance to chat with a lender about gaining the capital needed for your business.  


Goodbye and Goodluck

Finally, we’ll present our businesses, share final pitches, and plan for the next steps.

Foundations Business Planning course dates

Find the course date that fits your schedule and location.


Jul 18 - Aug 22

with Murphy Funkhouser


9:30 am - 12:30 pm


Online — Zoom

Aug 6 - Sep 17

with Elizabeth Soler


5:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Online — Zoom

Sep 10 - Oct 15

with Deanna Lynch


10:00 am - 1:00 pm



addWhat if I’m not sure about a business idea or have multiple business ideas?

That’s okay! Foundations provides a space to test the viability of your idea(s) and create a plan you are confident will be successful.  We welcome entrepreneurs at every stage of business development: from ideation, to start-ups, to existing business owners who want to re-visit their plan.

addWhat if I have to miss a class?

The first class is required, and we strongly recommend attending every session. If you have to miss a week, please let your facilitator know and coordinate a time to cover missed material.

addHow many participants are in each class?

Class size is capped at 12 participants to ensure every student gets the support they need.

addCan I take the class with my business partner?

Yes, but we ask that you register individually. We offer household discounts for clients who plan to take the class together. Contact lilley@mountainbizworks.org for more information.

addWill I be ready to apply for a loan after completing the class?

Loan readiness depends significantly on the specific needs and goals of individual applicants. You will have the opportunity in Foundations to learn about the Mountain BizWorks loan application process, but we do not guarantee that you will be eligible for a loan upon class completion.

addWhat if the class doesn’t cover a topic I’m interested in?

If you want to dive deeper into a specific concept or cover a topic that isn’t addressed in class, we recommend working individually with a Business Coach.

addWill I get a certificate for completing the program?

You will receive a signed certificate of completion upon presenting your business plan at the final class.

addWhat if I can’t afford the program?

Financial aid is available for all of our learning programs. Scholarship applications are embedded in many individual class registrations; if not, please review our scholarship page and email scholarship@mountainbizworks.org with any questions or concerns.

addWhat are technological equipment / tools that I need?

To attend our virtual classes you will need a steady internet connection, a computer or reliable device, and note-taking material. Please let us know if you require extra support.

addAre all classes online or are you offering any in-person?

While Mountain BizWorks will continue to offer virtual classes & workshops, we are beginning to offer some learning services in person or in a hybrid format. Please check each class or workshop description to determine whether it is going to be Virtual, In-Person or a Hybrid of both.

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Other offerings

Ready for more?

It’s common for students to leave Foundations eager to soak in more knowledge. If that’s you, try the Financial Series to dive deeper into small business financial management. Or utilize our high-touch coaching services. Also feel free to explore our full calendar to see all learning opportunities.

Financial Series
Business coaching
View full calendar


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