The January Cohort is no longer taking applications.
If you wish to apply for the next cohort (dates TBD), please complete this application form.
The LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District Entrepreneur Training Program is a nine-week training program where up to ten new entrepreneurs from new or existing businesses serving the leather and kink communities will work as a cohort in a mutually supportive environment to develop their respective businesses from the ground up.
In this program, they will learn about different aspects of starting and running a business: customer discovery, marketing, finance, operations, strategizing, and business presentation. Through Zoom-based group sessions and one-on-one consultations, they will also learn about how to formalize and register their business in San Francisco, locate permit and licensing requirements, and access useful resources. At the end of the 9 weeks, they will be invited to present their business plan to a panel of local business leaders, experts, and potential funders.
We are looking for entrepreneurs who have a strong connection with the Leather Community and SOMA. They should:
1. Plan to set up a storefront in the SOMA area or start a business catering to the Leather Community,
2. Plan to sell their products or provide their services in SOMA either at a permanent location or through popup locations such as a street fair, or
3. Plan to sell their products or provide their services through other existing stores in SOMA that cater to the Leather Community.
All participants who complete the program will receive a $500 stipend to help with their startup costs.
The program is led by Eddie Tang, a seasoned business consultant in San Francisco. Eddie is the owner of Above Consulting, a management consulting company based in San Francisco providing consulting in corporate strategy, brand strategy, logistics and supply chain management, organizational development, and data analytics.
Over the last 8 years, Eddie has supported hundreds of small businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. He currently also manages the entrepreneurship program for the SF LGBT Center and works on a few other training programs in the City such as Kickstart Your Business at 50+ program. Eddie received his MBA from the University of San Francisco and worked in the financial industry for about 10 years before he started his own business.
The first cohort of this program graduated in September of 2022, and the second is expected to graduate at the end of March, 2023. The third cohort will begin on Thursday, August 10, 2023. If you wish to apply for the Fall program, please complete this application form. We will send you an invitation to attend a 30-minute introductory session.
You can also read the Bay Area Reporter’s coverage of the program.
Questions? Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.