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Renaissance SoMa



“I didn’t even know where to start the process of business ownership until coming to Renaissance.  Renaissance helps you form what you want to do and form a plan of attack."

Cheryl Burr, owner of Pinkie's Bakery and Citizen's Band restaurant in SoMa




The best way to learn about all of the programs and services we offer is to attend a free Orientation Workshop.  Sign up for our next Kickstart Orientation.

If you have the desire and determination to succeed in small business, Renaissance SoMa offers the best professional training, advice and support to make it happen. By providing classes, one-on-one consultation, networking and business incubation, Renaissance helps entrepreneurs achieve their goals with practices that are built to last.

Learn more about our programs by viewing our course catalog.  If you’re not sure what’s right for you, use our START, PLAN, GROW tool to help you decide.

Do you want to START your business?

You have a business idea or product that you think everyone would love. What now? Start to clarify your vision and mission, get to work on basic market research, and reach out to entreprenreneurs within your industry. 

Classes at Renaissance SoMa that are right for you:


Do you want to PLAN your business?

You have just started selling your product or service or will be within the next three months. What now?  Write a comprehensive business plan that covers all aspects of your company’s operations including marketing, financial projections, operations, management and more. 

Classes at Renaissance SoMa that are right for you:


Do you want to GROW your business?

Your business plan is complete and you’re already making sales or working with clients. What now?  Hone your skills to empower yourself to be an even better entrepreneur in areas like marketing and QuickBooks, obtain financing for business growth, find a home outside of your home for your growing company.

Services at Renaissance SoMa that are right for you:


2014 Renaissance SoMa Course Catalog

Orientation: Kickstart Your Small Business

This workshop helps prepare attendees to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship. Topics covered include the 7 key factors for business success, common misconceptions of owning a small business, local resources and the full services Renaissance provides to help small businesses get going and growing.

Fee: Free
Instructor: Program Staff
Course Length: 1.5 hrs
Frequency of Course: Offered one or two times a month on either Monday or Wednesday at 12-2:30pm or 6-7:30pm

Sign up for the next Kickstart Your Small Business workshop.

Start Smart

In this action-oriented, three-session class, clients gain the skills to develop a one-page preliminary business plan by clarifying a business vision, creating a business mission, identifying objectives, and drafting a business strategy.

Fee: $60 (financial assistance available)
Instructor: Liz Arguello
Course Length: 3 sessions, 3 hours per session
Frequency of Course: Offered four times a year on three consecutive week days from 6-9pm. Once per year offered from 9:30am-12:30pm

Sign up for the next Start Smart class.

Business Planning Class*

This 14-week Business Planning Class covers every aspect of starting and developing a small business including marketing, management, operations, finance, and record keeping. The program includes individual consultations, excel classes, financial coaching and a business plan review session.

Fee: $375-$750 (financial assistance available)
Instructors: Paul Terry, Claudio Miranda and others
Course Length: 14 weeks, 2 sessions per week, 3 hours per session
Frequency of Course: Offered four times a year on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm

Start Your Own Fashion Business

This 5-session class provides an overview of business development and is specific to the fashion sector. It includes training on defining price points, testing and troubleshooting business strategies, choosing manufacturers, and techniques to sell products and conduct a SWOT Analysis. Clients will complete the class with a preliminary business plan.

Fee: $120
Instructor: Julie Arvan
Course Length: 5 sessions, 3 hours per session
Frequency of Course: Offered twice a year on Wednesdays at 6-9pm

QuickBooks (Advanced Finance)

This 3-part course is designed to train small business owners in how to set-up a company file in QuickBooks and manage the day to day tasks required to successfully run a business.

Fee: $60
Instructor: Intuit licensed instructors
Course Length: 3 sessions, 3 hours per session
Frequency of Course: Offered twice a year on Mondays at 6-9pm

Advanced Marketing

This 6-part online marketing course covers website optimization, search engine optimization and social media marketing. Clients will learn techniques and tools to drive traffic to their websites, get their businesses listed above larger companies and how to use Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and other social media outlets to grow their businesses.

Fee:  $60 for each 2-part workshop
Instructor: Claudio Miranda
Course Length: 3 two-part workshops, 3 hours per session
Frequency of Course: Offered twice a year on Monday or Wednesday at 6-9pm

Legal Series

Legal workshops include topics such as Intellectual Property, Independent Contractor Agreements, Contract Negotiations, Basic Commercial Law for Retailers, Before You Sign That Lease, Business Law Fundamentals, Managing the Legal Risk of a Multiple Owner Small Business, Legal Structures for Our New Economy and Protecting Your Good Name among others.

Fee: Free
Instructor: The San Francisco Community Business Law Center
Course Length: 2hrs
Frequency of Course: Once a month on Wednesdays at 12-2pm


A supportive dynamic entrepreneurial community designed to help the growth and development of emerging small businesses.

Services include:
• Individual offices and cubicles
• Shared conference and meeting rooms
• Internet connection
• Reception services
• Underground parking (extra fee)
• Great location in SoMa
• Business management services
• Monthly consultations with experts in finance, sales, marketing, and intensive strategic growth services
• Monthly small business training workshops and peer luncheons
• Access to business opportunities

Fee: $250-$650 (price dependent upon location, square footage, and financial need)
*All applicants must fill out an incubator application

Financial Resource Center

Free one-on-one consulting to help business owners understand their growth options, loan packaging and access to small business loans from banks, nonprofit loan funds and private sources. Loans range from $5,000 - $250,000.

Contact: 415.348.6222 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Contact Information for Program Staff


Paula Connelly, Program Manager

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(415) 348-6248


Petra Ostermuenchner, Program Coordinator

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(415) 348-6212



Renaissance Locations 


SoMa      Bayview      East Palo Alto      Redwood City      Richmond     Daly City     Marin