New Round Coming Up for Training Entrepreneurs

Since 2020, $1,000 Start-Ups, Inc. has helped launch 30 small businesses in Nassau County through its entrepreneurship, financial management, and life skills training program. The program is available at no cost to adults and includes up to $1,000 in business start-up funding. The 501(c)3 non-profit organization is now accepting applications for its 2023 program to begin on May 10, 2023 and concluding on January 27, 2024.

The 2022 cohort graduated from the program on Saturday, March 25 at the annual Spring Into Action Small Business Fair at the Peck Center Gymnasium. A variety of business types have participated in the program, including retail, bakers and chefs, artists, a wide range of service providers, and others. As a complement to the cohort, the $1,000 Start-Ups consortium includes dozens of established local businesses and organizations that serve as mentors, resources, and collaborators to participants.

The $1,000 Start-Ups cohort is guided through every step of starting and growing a successful small business in 26 one-hour sessions taught on Zoom led by Leah Ward-Lee with occasional professional guest presenters. Meeting on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 10-11 a.m., the sessions alternate between course material and homework presentations that allow the cohort members to not only learn from the material, but from each other.

In a very practical application, four small business fairs are held throughout the year. The first is the prototype fair that allows the cohort to test the marketability of their products or services in a limited environment with friends, family, former graduates, donors, and supporters. Three additional small business fairs are open to the public and include other area small businesses that are invited to display at no cost. This collaboration allows the cohort to learn from established businesses, grow their network, increase their customer base and revenue, and circulate money within the local community.

Cohort members in good standing are reimbursed up to $1,000 business start-up or growth funding upon fulfillment of required milestones.

The enrollment process includes an interview with the lead instructor. During this interview mutual expectations are established before a written contract is signed. $1,000 Start-Ups never asks participants for money or for an ownership stake in their business. The application process begins at

$1,000 Start-Ups, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation founded by Leah Ward-Lee and Tony X. Lee with the mission to provide economic and re-entry opportunity by training and funding low-cost business start-ups for potential entrepreneurs from traditionally marginalized or at-risk communities – to build a consortium of businesses that mentor, support, and grow with each other and to provide entrepreneurship and life skills training to potential employees of consortium businesses.

To learn more about the $1000 Start-Ups mission and programs visit the website at or follow on social media @1000dollarstartups.