UB to train displaced workers for entrepreneurial success

downtown UB campus building at night.


Release date: February 15, 2022


Hundreds of unemployed, laid-off and underemployed workers in the region will be able to explore entrepreneurial paths and participate in a robust training initiative offered by UB’s Western New York Incubator Network (WIN) and the School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL).

As a Reimagine Workforce Center, the CEL will offer entrepreneurship boot camps and master courses in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Olean, Jamestown and Dunkirk, as well as virtually, with support from a two-year grant of nearly $342,000 from Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).

The proposal is built around the expansion of a longtime partnership between WIN and the CEL. WIN is an established NYSTAR center, while the CEL brings a track record of more than 30 years supporting small businesses through its unique class/cohort model.

At its peak, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about the contraction of at least 110,000 jobs in Western New York.

“While the recovery will be multifaceted, it’s clear that a major driver of growth in our community must be building a more entrepreneurial workforce,” says Paul Tesluk, dean of the School of Management. “The Reimagine grant will enable us to leverage our partnerships with UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, Western New York Incubator Network and other organizations to bring this much-needed training to our region.”

Over the next two years, WIN and the CEL will work with TReC in Niagara Falls and Jamestown Community College in the Southern Tier, as well as other area small business development centers, incubators, chambers of commerce and local business associations to deliver 24 entrepreneurship training cohorts.

Twelve of those cohorts will be basic entrepreneurship training cohorts, including one-on-one weekly mentoring, and 12 will be master classes focused on strategic planning and operational tactics, including mastering financial reports, overcoming challenges, creating new opportunities and developing meaningful connections within the business community.

For more information on the Reimagine Workforce Centers, visit CEL's website.

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