What is Riverside County MADE Program?

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

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Dec 29, 2022

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  • The Riverside County MADE program aims to support new product-based enterprises in Riverside County as they enter the market to test their ideas.
  • Participants will learn the fundamental ideas needed to build a successful company. You will learn about planning, marketing, finance, and how to make your business ambitions a reality over six weeks. 
  • After completing the program, those who qualify may apply for a $2,500 County of Riverside award. The program starts on January 10 on Tuesday.

What’s the MADE Program?

MADE was a five-week program (now a 6-week program) run in collaboration with the Original OC Swap Meet that helps new product-based enterprises join the market and test their ideas. This fast-paced program allows participants to manage an Original OC Swap Meet vendor booth, sell to the general public at a live market or event, and accelerate their company concepts in just a few short weeks. 

As of 2023, in less than six weeks, MADE participants will be ready to generate sales and develop their customer base after learning the ins and outs of how to launch and expand their company into a new area formally.

What Will You Get To Learn in This Six-Week Program?

The six-week schedule is as follows:

Week 1 – Tuesday, January 10 | 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

  • Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Developing your product for the market
  • Building your idea into a business
  • Overview of permits and licenses
  • Business Structure
  • Naming your business
  • How will you fund your business?
  • Business Plan & Financial Projections – Introduction

Week 2 – Tuesday, January 17 | 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

  • Feasibility
  • Business Planning
  • Market Research
  • Identify and research competition (handout sheet)

Week 3 – Tuesday, January 24 | 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

  • Financial Management
  • Account & Accounting Systems
  • Sourcing, costing, and pricing your products
  • Accepting payment
  • Business Liability Insurance
  • Business Bank Account and Accounting methods

Week 4 – Tuesday, January 31 | 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

  • Financial Literacy By AmPac
  • Access to Capital

Week 5 – Tuesday, January 7 | 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

  • Developing your marketing plan
  • Advertising
  • Digital Marketing
  • Understanding social media and how to attract customers/repeat customers
  • Your canopy and Space
  • Meeting the Canopy Vendor
  • Return Policy – Customer Satisfaction
  • Revisiting Grant Requirements

Week 6 – Tuesday, January 14 | 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

  • Financial Projections
  • Event Preparation and needs
  • Signage and promotion
  • Further Steps
  • SBDC Assistance
  • Setting up your Marketplace booth

2022 MADE program

This year’s thanksgiving, through the MADE Program, the community at the Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center helped more than 40 small business owners enter the market and make their first sale.

Successful Stories from MADE Program Held in 2022

This year, the OCIE SBDC collaborated with a diverse collection of company owners who offered consumers a wide selection of goods. It was amazing to see all the entrepreneurs transform their business ideas into fully operational enterprises in five short weeks. 

Royree Toomer, Owner of Simply Savvy Sistaz

Royree Toomer, the owner of Simply Savvy Sistaz, responded to an inquiry on how the MADE program helped her:

“The SBDC helped me believe in myself more as a company owner and gave me the confidence I need to know that I can do it, and know that I have support.

Royree Toomer, Owner of Simply Savvy Sistaz

Stephen Heinpmann, Owner of Vene Cacao

Vene Cacao owner Stephen Heinpmann, a fellow MADE alumnus, expressed gratitude that the SBDC gave his company “greater awareness, the capacity to communicate to individuals and meet critical actors to expand the business itself.” 

His ability to forge meaningful relationships with the other participants and the chance to exhibit his goods at the Original OC Swap Meet was his favorite aspects of being a part of the MADE program.

Wrap Up!

The MADE program in Riverside County assists emerging product-based businesses in testing their ideas on the market. Over six weeks, participants will learn about planning, marketing, finances, and how to make their business goals a reality. After finishing the program, those who meet the requirements can apply for a $2,500 County of Riverside grant. All participants will receive expedited training and one-on-one coaching in 2022 to help them get ready for their Small Business Saturday launch.

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