Getting Down to Business
Small business development program (Free)

Application Deadline: Thursday, March 16

Application Deadline:

Thursday March 16, 2017
Classes begin on March 30 from 5pm to 7:30pm and continue on alternate Thursdays (and some Saturdays) through November.

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Workshop location

Alice McKean Young Library
5107 Griggs Road
Houston, TX 77021

Driving Directions 


Mark Boucree
Call: 832 224 6756

Training Program Components

Education Program:

Free training sessions will enhance the owners’ operational efficiency and capacity to grow their businesses through increased knowledge of best practices in the business world.

Approximately 16 classes will instruct the participants on specific business concepts, including writing business plans, increasing their knowledge of credit, marketing and advertising, accounting best practices, industry lending practices and other areas.

IDA Savings Account
To provide financial encouragement, each participant will be required to open a free Individual Development Account (IDA)/small business savings account with Capital One Bank, to be matched 2:1, up to $2,000, upon the business owner’s successful completion of the program.

This component helps build the business owner’s capital and ability to leverage the savings with other available financing.

Mentorship Component
Participants will be paired with knowledgeable professionals and volunteers during the program and for one year following. These mentors will assist owners in utilizing new and updated skills, answer questions related to business operations, and provide advice. 

Local Partners

HPL SCORE Houston Logo    City Of Houston Office of Business Opportunity    


Presented by Capital One BankŪ and local partners, Getting Down to Business is a free business-training program with a multifaceted approach:
1) an
in-class educational program,
2) a savings account with a match and
3) a mentorship/coaching component.

The program will be limited to up to 15 participants who will be selected through an application and interview process.

Class of 2016

Tongela Clark
Change Agent, LLC

Katina Hodges
Beyond Leasing, LLC

Keith Sanders

Emma Donald
Bar Divaz

Bonita Lewis
Nita Cake & More, LLC

Genyne Vinson Time2Spare

Joel Eliaz
Xoco - Latte

Dr. Khalilah McAfee
Quail Valley Family Dental

DavidYarbrough Dynamo Communications

Shelia Griffith
Rising Transportation

Patricia Prein
Texas Coffee News

Arquella Hargrove

Sandra Richardson Children's Speciality Pharmacy

Quotes from the past participants:

GDTB program made me more centered and focused.  My mentor, Mr. Stanley was and is amazing, he has helped me so much and his style of being able to identify business issues and his way of articulating it is priceless... Tongela Clark, Change Agent, LLC.

The GDTB Program helped me CREATE my growth plan! I did not even know about business plans or how critical they are to running a successful business. Now that I have one I am more focused on everything from daily tasks to long-term plans. Not only do I enjoy my work more than before, but I feel ‘in control’ of my company. I have launched a new edition, increased my pricing, increased sales and have hired 2 more Independent Contractors. ... Patricia Prein

My SCORE mentor, Fred DeRoode’s knowledge of new business start-ups and candor on the state of my company in the beginning was a real wake-up call: I was working very hard but had no idea where I was going. I was scared to death and I could tell Fred knew this. He reassured me that I could be successful by taking the time to really think about my goals, building my business plan and focusing on the end result of where I wanted to be and precisely what I wanted to do with Coffee News. He inspired me to build a stronger on-line presence to complement our print, which we worked on the last quarter of 2016, and I am amazed with the results.... Patricia Prein

Every lesson learned during the intense 7-months GDTB program has been a building block that has helped us craft a well thought out business plan focused on future growth. We couldn't have done this without the guidance and advice of all the incredible people, mentors and small business advocates.
Since completing the GDTB program, we branded, launched and expanded our business. We secured a small business loan through LiftFund in cooperation with Capital One that helped us finance our expansion into the Austin Market... Nina and James Youngers, Co-owners, Got Dirty Blinds? (Class of 2015)

GDTB gave me the information and the tools that I needed to take my business to the next level. I am following the business plan I wrote as part of the GDTB program, and I am ahead of schedule in its implementation.... Jelita Green-Dathorne, OD, CEO Gulf Coast Vision Center, Inc. (Class of 2015)

Followed the business plan and signed a 4-year contract with Texas Tech with an option to renew for four more; became a prime with HISD for awards, plaques, trophies and promotional products, and secured a new LiftFund loan to meet growing business and hired an additional full time staff person.... Mary J. Gilmore, President/CEO Amazing Awards, Inc. (Class of 2015)

Read about our recent graduates  ...

Bonita and Ed Lewis, Nita Cake and More, LLC

Bonita was chosen for the You Rock! award which was given to the person who showed the most energy, dedication and commitment to the program. SCORE mentor: Rick Ross.

Bonita - Desserts

Dr. Khaliah Davis-McAfee, Quail Valley Family Dental. SCORE mentor: Richard Trout.

Dr. McAfee was the first place winner of the business plan competition. Her dental practice is located in the Quail Valley Community of Missouri City.  Her mission is to educate everyone in Missouri City and the surrounding areas about the importance of proper dental care and how the health of the mouth affects the health of  entire body. 

The Class:

Back of the head of Keith Sanders and l to r: Genyne Vinson, Patricia Prein, Katina Hodges, Ed and Bonita Lewis.