Are you a

Apply for Support Fact Sheet FAQ Contact

Access NIIC Navigator Academy Portal

Nearly 92% of all businesses in the United States are microbusinesses. Micro-entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of communities and economies around the world.

  • Do you employ between 1-4 people, in addition to yourself, in your business?
  • Do you have less than $250,000 in annual revenue?
  • Do you need less than $35,000 in start-up capital to launch your business?
  • Do you value autonomy and independence as much as you value fast-growing revenue and accessing outside funding?
  • Are you looking to be your own boss doing what you love, or are you building a business to sell it to someone else?

If this sounds like you, you are a micro-entrepreneur. Our OPENS Program may be for you.

What you do is important, challenging, and rewarding. You are a pillar of innovation, a driver of new job creation, and a key contributor to national business growth.

Microentrepreneurs often need:

  • Access to funding for their businesses;
  • Help to figure out how to access support;
  • Business building skills to succeed;
  • Access to services;
  • Assistance to get themselves and their businesses to the next level.

The NIIC is here to inspire, encourage, and provide assistance, to level the playing field for you.

What do we offer?

Through participation in The NIIC OPENS Program, you and your venture can:

  • Confidently prepare to apply for microlending assistance from preferred providers;
  • Access more conventional financing through government and non-government programs;
  • Build the necessary knowledge and skills, access supportive resources, and be connected to the local entrepreneurial network;
  • Create a self-sufficient microenterprise using business model thinking;
  • Incorporate a path to sustainability;
  • Overcome barriers to become a successful microenterprise entrepreneur.

Service Offerings

  • Capital Clinic provides advice on your readiness for outside funding, and what capital access programs might be the best fit for you and your venture.
  • Business Model Thinking helps you think through how to create a sustainable and successful venture by evaluating the nine drivers of creating your successful, sustainable, and viable business model. Through various tools, WKI So What, Lean Canvas, valuation methods and tools, The NIIC will coach and direct you through design thinking, business strategy, and innovation issues to create and capture business value.
  • 1:1 Coaching is an opportunity to work on yourself and to address common pitfalls and opportunities in starting and growing a successful business. Working with an experienced business coach, you can use The NIIC proprietary model: Assess>Discover>Do™ to find out how to self-improve and leverage your resources for greater business-building success.
  • Workshops are offered in various platforms – virtual and in-person with your peers – to provide valuable business-building training support to accelerate your entrepreneurial journey.
  • Money Matters Workshop Series - 60-day virtual workshop series to learn the process of securing funding for your venture. Session 1 Bootstrapping, Session 2 Crowdfunding, Session 3 Friends, Family and Fools, Session 4 Fundamentals of Angels.

Next Steps

  • Complete this application to let us know how to best serve you.
  • Through generous U.S. Small Business Administration funding, complementary NIIC Navigator™ Online Toolset is available to help increase your knowledge, skills, and abilities to run and grow a successful and sustainable business. These proven support tools will get you where you want to go faster.


  • Credit options for under-estimated Founders, this resource connects you to options powered by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity.
  • Angel Capital Association is for potential angel groups that might be interested in funding your business.
  • Bankable offers funding options up to $250,000 for your start-up and/or established business and microloans up to $50,000.




Enter search term...