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  • Cathy O’Connor

OKC resources help our small businesses

Oklahoma City has launched many different resources and support services for small businesses over the past couple of years to help business owners with advice, road maps, and in some cases, funding for startup and existing businesses.

GBETA is accepting applications now through March 10 for the second cohort starting April 7. This seven-week program includes coaching to help startups gain early customer traction and establish metrics and culminates in a “pitch night” to equity-based accelerators, entrepreneur supporters and seed investors.

Idea Accelerator, sponsored by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, launched last month to help 10 Oklahoma City entrepreneurs who think they may have an idea to solve a certain problem but may not have the financial backing to test that idea. Over the next three months, participants will learn an experimentation framework to test their ideas with the goal of eventually launching a business and each entrepreneur is supported by a $5,000 Pebble Grant from Heartland Forward to test their ideas.

The Real Deal Collective is accepting applications now for its six-month executive growth program. Launched in 2020, Real Deal fosters collaboration and innovation to help business owners plan, access capital and find an influential network of resources. Participants attend monthly classes and discussions, develop an individualized three-year growth plan, receive training, and gain authentic and focused advice from experienced business owners on topics including finances, marketing, sales, operations and leadership.

The Innovation District is hosting a series of workshops for entrepreneurs. The first, on Feb. 28 is how to build an effective team, led by a talent developer who has worked with large, national companies as well as startups.

In March, the Alliance will be launching the OKC Rescue Program to put resources from the American Rescue Plan Act into helping our small businesses continue to recover from the impacts of COVID. More information to come.

The Alliance is a sponsor of several of these programs as part of our commitment to help small business owners in Oklahoma City. Successful small businesses create jobs, employ the majority of Oklahomans and create successful communities and economies. Over the past two years, we’ve gained more insight into the unique support they need, especially for the minority and female participation.


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