To be the leading provider of training and mentoring for entrepreneurs dedicated to starting and growing local businesses that change lives, create jobs and improve communities.
WIBO was the brainchild of two co-founders – Walter Geier and Mallalieu Woolfolk whose ideas about how to best help minorities living in impoverished areas were ahead of their time. In 1966, when WIBO was founded, Walter Geier was a successful businessman working in midtown Manhattan. Dr. Woolfolk was a prominent attorney and businessman in Harlem; in 1966 this was an unusual partnership, but it worked. They recruited twenty-four faculty members from among their clients, colleagues, and friends and, working with that group, created all of the original materials for a comprehensive 16-week business course. They then recruited fifteen students for the 1966 spring term and WIBO was off the ground. Fourteen graduated and eleven either started businesses or expanded existing businesses.
Read the full history of how WIBO began by Walter Geier Click HERE
For 50+ years, Workshop In Business Opportunities (WIBO) has been dedicated to teaching people with a passion and strong entrepreneurial spirit how to start, operate, and grow profitable businesses. Our objective is to help more people become successful entrepreneurs; the goal is to create greater economic opportunity, improve local communities, and change lives.
We help community‐based entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their access to knowledge, networks, and capital, and we work with them to navigate their way to entrepreneurial success. Their success can provide economic stimulus at a local level and lays the foundation for empowered, thriving communities.
Our entrepreneurs are mostly people who see starting a business as an avenue to a better life. We support mom and pop entrepreneurs in underserved communities who seek to bring Main Street back to life while fueling their local economies and seeing their dreams become reality.
- 86% of our participants identify as black or Hispanic
- 70% are women
- 73% have income below $50,000 (at the time of enrollment)
- 63% are not yet in business (at the time of enrollment)