Women’s Innovation Learning Lab (WILL)

 The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is proud to announce

The Women’s Innovation Learning Lab – WILL



Join one of our customized learning experiences and begin your business innovation journey today:

  • Innovation Learning Cohort “Scale Higher”: Structured multi-week experiential learning program that draws upon the tools and methodologies from world-class innovators and subject matter experts. Our first cohort launches in April 2021. Read below for more information and reach out to Colette at cbuscemi@wbdc.org to see if it might be right for you.  *Eligibility requirements outlined below.
  • Featuring “Lab Hours”: Share ideas and business challenges in an inclusive, supportive, and creative virtual environment to gain insights from peers, mentors and WBDC’s professional team of business advisors.
  • Podcast and Webinar Series “Breakthrough Innovations: Lessons earned, learned and gained in the trenches of entrepreneurship from women and minority owned businesses and innovation thought leaders. Stay tuned for the podcast launch in April 2021.
  • 1:1 Advising: Advice from a member of WBDC’s professional team of business advisors.

And Coming Soon…Stay tuned for additional programming including:

  • Peer to Peer Learning: Learn from fellow co-founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Mentoring: Leverage WBDC’s amazing network of partners and businesses owners for invaluable guidance and feedback.

WILL is designed to democratize and diversify innovation and entrepreneurial management methodologies and tools by helping women and minority owned companies’ access and apply the tools and adopt the processes necessary to reduce the risk and uncertainty of new ideas.  In further support of the WBDC’s overarching mission of economic empowerment and parity, this initiative aims to support the growth and long-term sustainability for women and minority owned businesses.  

Scale Higher is a highly immersive, experiential learning lab that demystifies innovation tools and methodologies by giving you direct access to the same approaches and systems routinely used by the innovators of Silicon Valley and  Corporate America. We have curated subject matter experts and thought leaders into a world-class portfolio of training content that has been uniquely adapted for small business owners seeking to transform their business to scale higher, scale faster and scale more profitably. 

Scale Higher is a multi-week cohort-based program that is designed to assist established, Chicagoland businesses positioned for growth. Scale Higher equips entrepreneurs with business knowledge, tools, resources, and networks necessary to innovate in their businesses that retain and create jobs, fuel economic growth, and build strong communities.

Interested in the Scale Higher Program? Please follow this link to our on-line intake application

Growth Mindset: Understand the benefits of cultivating a growth mindset.
Finding New Markets: A structured approach for identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing market opportunities.
Design Thinking: An introduction to Design Thinking principles to help you uncover creative opportunities to solve challenging problems.
Experiment to Grow:  Systematically test business ideas to reduce risk and increase your chances of success.  

Learn the fundamentals of a Growth Mindset and embrace change.
Gain new insights and see the results of applying Design Thinking principles to foster experimentation and unlock creativity.
Discover new opportunities by identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing potential markets and by making well-informed market choices.
Learn and adopt systematic approaches to testing business ideas to reduce risk.
Explore and learn about testing, experimentation, and customer discovery tools.
Build an innovation practice and create a culture of innovation.

In business for more than 18 months
Made $50,000+ in revenue (in 2019)
Solopreneurs or have 2 or more employees
Are working on the business full-time
Company that has a product or service that is ready to grow into a new market
Interested in finding new ways to test ideas
Wants to learn tools and tactics to understand their customers and prospective customers

Thursdays (PRESENTED IN ENGLISH) beginning April 1st and ending June 10th via Zoom.

Questions? Contact the Colette Buscemi, Director the Women’s Innovation Learning Lab, at cbuscemi@wbdc.org to learn more.

A special thank you to our generous cohort sponsors who allow the WBDC to provide Scale Higher free of charge to all participants.