Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center's 12 Week Business Planning Class

12-Week Business Planning Class

***Applications for the Spring 2020 cohort are now open! You can access the application here***

Take our 12-Week Business Planning Class and develop your business plan with confidence. This intensive class focuses on creating a practical and effective business plan—one of the most useful documents an entrepreneur will ever use. It is a critical management tool for feasibility analysis, operations, marketing and finance and is necessary for accessing capital for business launch and growth.

The 12-Week Business Planning class addresses all aspects of  business start up and expansion including:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Industry trend analysis
  • Operations
  • Financial projections and sales assumptions

Participants have access to industry experts, one-to-one consultations, small group interactions, financial coaching, and a business plan review session. Completing this course will help build a strong foundation necessary to embark on the exciting journey of entrepreneurship.



 Paul Terry is principal of Paul Terry & Associates, providing business management consulting and entrepreneurship training to small businesses. Paul Terry & Associates helps small businesses solve a variety of management challenges and provides guidance with action planning, partnership negotiation and ownership or exit transitions. Paul is the Renaissance Senior Business Consultant and has taught classes, provided direct support to entrepreneurs, and designed programs at Renaissance for over 25 years. Paul is the primary instructor of the Business Planning Class and teaches the business planning/management classes. In addition to Paul Terry & Associates, he has owned two retail food businesses, a wholesale distributing business and a computer training company.

Paul’s Website


Gail Lillian is a veteran of the food industry, with over 25 years of experience cooking, managing, and developing concepts. She opened Liba Falafel in 2009 as a food truck and is a pioneer in mobile food. Gail expanded Liba into a restaurant in Uptown Oakland in 2014. She has been an active participant at Renaissance over the last 10 years, providing consulting and mentoring to new entrepreneurs and business owners, as well as speaking in classrooms and on panels across the Bay Area on the subject of entrepreneurship.  Supporting the entrepreneur’s journey is one of her favorite ways to spend time. Gail helps teach the business planning/management classes and is a graduate of the Business Planning Class.

Gail’s website


Sharon Zimmerman is the designer and owner of Sharon Z Jewelry – Modern Jewelry with a Modern Conscience. Crafting pieces from recycled gold, platinum and silver, she focuses on expressive and unique designs handmade in responsibly-sourced materials. Sharon spent more than four years working in the jewelry industry before launching her collection in 2011. “Jewelry is the one art form that people interact with directly on a daily basis. It connects the wearer and the maker in a tactile and sensual relationship. This intimacy with art is what most interests me.” Sharon teaches the finance classes and is a graduate of the Business Planning Class.

Sharon’s website


Thy Tran is a professionally trained chef, culinary writer and chef instructor with over 20 years of food industry experience in restaurants, test kitchens and with cookbook publishers and culinary academies. She established her business Wandering Spoon to provide cooking classes, culinary consultation and educational programs for businesses and non-profits. She is also the founder and director of the Asian Culinary Forum, a non-profit that educates the public about Asian food around the world. Thy teaches the finance classes and is a graduate of the Business Planning Class.

Thy’s website


Paula Mattisonsierra has successfully launched four businesses. She is currently the Founder & Marketing Director of Power Marketing SF, an off-site marketing department for seasoned small to mid-sized businesses. She also founded Maximum Mama Maternity, an international maternity clothing company located in San Francisco, with collections in over 85 retail establishments internationally. She has taught at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, San Francisco the Art Institute of California, San Francisco and at City College, San Francisco. Paula holds a BBA in International Marketing from the City University of New York, Bernard Baruch, as well as a Certificate in Product Development from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, San Francisco. Paula teaches the marketing classes and is a graduate of the Business Planning Class.

Paula’s website


Claudio Miranda is a seasoned entrepreneur and C-level executive with 20 years of experience in marketing, consumer branding, multi-channel retailing, and sustainable enterprise. Claudio was the co-founder and CMO of two industry-leading natural product brands: Organic Bouquet and Organic Style. Under his management, Organic Style grew to become a 50-employee company with a $50M valuation. Claudio is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Philosophy & Law, and has served as Professor of Marketing at the Dominican University Green MBA Program. Claudio teaches marketing and e-commerce classes at Renaissance.

Claudio’s website



Application: A $40 nonrefundable application fee is required. This fee will be applied towards the class tuition if your application is accepted. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a Renaissance SoMa Orientation.

Tuition: $1000. Scholarships up to 50% and payment plans are available, based on household income. For more information on eligibility, see our scholarships page.

Payment: Payment for classes and workshops are collected prior to or no later than the first day of class. To request an installment payment plan please contact Erin Morris, Program Coordinator at

Scholarships: To apply for a scholarship you will need:

  1. *Proof of household income
  2. Income Verification form 2019-2020

*Proof of household income can be one of the following:

  • A copy of previous year’s tax return;
  • A recent pay stub (within the last three months) or
  • Documentation of government assistance, such as unemployment benefits, social security, or Medi-Cal.

All information will be kept confidential. Download the income verification form here.

Email above to Erin Morris, Program Coordinator, at Preference is given to local residents and business owners.

When is the next session?

The next session of Business Planning will begin on April 28. This class will run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 12 weeks. Applications for this class are now open – you can apply here. Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

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