Small Business Startup Series

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Small Business Startup Series & Blooming Poppies Pitch Competition 

Enrollment is now closed. Check in on this webpage in the coming months for additional program updates! 

The City of Lancaster has partnered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and skills they need to succeed in today’s business climate. Participants will complete a series of courses in a wide range of topics, enabling them to prepare their businesses for startup. Following the courses, participants will pitch their business ideas to a panel of experts at the Blooming Poppies Pitch Competition. Entrepreneurs will compete to receive $5,000 in grant funding to launch their dream business, along with a host of other possible prizes. 

Available courses will include: 

  • Business Startup 

  • Business Model 

  • Business Planning 

  • Creating Financial Projections 

  • Digital Marketing #1 

  • Digital Marketing #2 

  • Digital Marketing #3 

  • Accounting & Financial Basics 

  • Accessing Capital/Finding Funding

  • QuickBooks Boot Camp

  • WAVE Boot Camp 

  • How to Pitch 

To ensure accessibility to a wide range of aspiring entrepreneurs, courses will be offered virtually and will be available in English and Spanish. Throughout the Series, entrepreneurs will have access to one-on-one consulting from the small business experts at the SBDC to help hone their ideas and prepare their businesses for launch. 

Enrollment is currently closed. All Antelope Valley-based entrepreneurs were eligible to participate in the Small Business Startup Series. To participate in the Blooming Poppies Pitch Competition at the culmination of the Series, small business owners must meet the following criteria: 

  • Register at 

  • Complete a minimum of eight of the above courses within a six-month period (fall 2023 to spring 2024) 

  • Be, or have the intention of starting, a locally-owned independent business 

  • Be located or intend to be established within the Lancaster City limits 

  • If a business location has not yet been purchased or leased, participant must be a resident of Lancaster, Palmdale, or adjacent unincorporated County 

  • Have been in business for less than two years 

  • Be a for-profit business 

  • Businesses currently earning more than $25,000 in annual revenue are not eligible 

  • Business that have already raised more than $50,000 in funding from outside sources are not eligible 

  • Any business that is not eligible for taxpayer funding may not apply 

For more information, review the SBDC Webinar or call 661-723-6128. 

Thank you to our Sponsors!