Participant Outcomes of the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) Program

PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 0809-11
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Workshop in Business Opportunities, or WIBO, is an entrepreneurial training and development program that originated in the Harlem district of New York City in 1966. The 16-week course introduces participants to a variety of concepts essential for the successful operation of a small business. In 1999, the program was brought to Bridgeport, Connecticut by FSW, Inc, one of the leading family service agencies in the state. Since that time, WIBO has graduated 443 students and become an integral part of the services offered at FSW. Its focus on small business development is directly relevant to one of the core mission objectives of FSW: helping clients build pathways to economic self-sufficiency.

As the WIBO program celebrates ten years of assisting budding entrepreneurs in Bridgeport, a study was commissioned to examine outcomes from the past decade of WIBO alumni. This comprehensive study sought to bring together insights and feedback from a wide range of graduates who completed the Bridgeport program. Two undergraduate students at Dartmouth College, through an arrangement with the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center on campus, conducted the study and analyzed the results described here.