Hera Hub is a female-focused, gender-inclusive, coworking space and business accelerator. Over the last eleven years, the company has supported over 13,000 entrepreneurs in the launch or growth of their businesses. Hera Hub is a certified “Public Benefit Corporation”, committing to higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency.
Learn more at www.HeraHub.com/benefit-corporation.
Through this experience, the founder of Hera Hub, Felena Hanson, has pulled together over 20 years of business ownership experience and poured her knowledge into two 9-week eLearning programs; Launch Academy for early-stage entrepreneurs, and Growth Academy, for scaling businesses. These programs have been vetted by over 1,500 entrepreneurs and supported by organizations like the Women’s Business Center, the Small Business Development Center, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and companies like Bank of America.
Each academy is facilitated by an experienced entrepreneur who guides the cohort through the learning platform. Every week, participants meet for two hours to discuss the e-Course material covered in the prior week. These sessions are critical to building community, pushing through challenges, and masterminding each business application. All weekly classroom sessions take place via Zoom, ensuring equitable access for all.
The Launch Academy guides ten participants through the 17 foundational steps of business building. Each of the nine weeks, participants complete 2-3 steps of the launch process and are required to submit checkpoint questions before moving to the next step. The capstone requires each participant to create a one-page business plan and polished elevator pitch.
The cohort meets with the facilitator, via Zoom, for two hours of weekly classroom time. This time will be used to brainstorm ideas, receive feedback, leverage guest experts, and build a community among the participants.
While anyone would benefit from this business fundamentals program, it was designed with a small business owner in mind (versus someone who is building a highly scalable, venture-backed business).
Criteria for participation - Business idea solidified. Typically, under one year in business. Can be a side hustle, but must be able to commit 5 hours a week to the program.ea solidified. Typically, under one year in business. Can be a side hustle, but must be able to commit 5 hours a week to the program.
Week One: 1. Customer discovery / 2. Business model canvas
Week Two: 3. Naming / 4. Licensing & permits / 5. Banking & credit card set-up
Week Three: 6. Record Keeping / 7. Entity Set-up / 8. Tax planning
Week Four: 9. Pricing strategy / 10. Branding / 11. Marketing Planning
Week Five: 12. Online Presence / 13. Contracts / 14. Insurance
Week Six: 15. Team / 16. Systems & Organization
Week Seven: 17. Start-up Capital & Financial Projections
Week Eight: Prep for a one-page business plan & elevator pitch
Week Nine: Final wrap-up: Each participant delivers a one-page business plan
and elevator pitch
This Growth Academy guides ten small business owners through the steps needed to scale their businesses. Just like the Launch Academy, the basis for the Growth Academy is a robust online learning platform. The cohort meets with the instructor, via Zoom, for two hours each week. This time is used to brainstorm ideas, receive feedback, bring in guest experts, and build a community among the participants.
Each week, participants will complete one step of the growth process and be required to submit check-point questions before moving to the next step. These are collected in a shared document for reference. The capstone requires each participant to create and present a pitch to an investor, bank, or strategic growth partner.
While the program covers all possible fundraising options (debt, equity, crowdfunding, etc), this course is best suited for small business owners who will be more likely to utilize debt to scale their businesses.
Criteria for participation - Must be in business for at least two years, have at least one employee, and over $100,000 in annual sales.
Week 1: Vision
Week 2: People
Week 3: Marketing
Week 4: Business Development
Week 5: Operations
Week 6: Finance
Week 7: Funding
Week 8: Pitch
Week 9: Pitch practice/wrap-up
Ready to Launch? 60-minute Workshop
Want to be your own boss?
Leaving a steady paycheck to launch out on your own can be scary. Most people are looking for reassurance that they have a viable business idea that can at least get them to “salary replacement” in a reasonable amount of time. This 60-minute, interactive session will help budding entrepreneurs...
Score their business idea or ideas
Avoid the costly business launch mistakes
Understand all 17 steps of business launch
Determine if the Launch Academy is right for them
Ready to Scale? 60-minute Workshop
Ready to stop trading time for money?
Many entrepreneurs find themselves at a breaking point a few years into the business. They realize that what got them to this point is not going to get them to the next level.
For many, it’s a matter of allowing others to assist them in operationalizing the business. They need better systems, better technology tools, and more human capital to scale profitably.
This 60-minute, interactive session will help experienced entrepreneurs...
Identify what’s holding them back
Avoid the top business growth mistakes
Understand how people and process are critical to success
Determine if the Growth Academy is right for them
Monthly Mastermind. 90 minutes via Zoom
Graduates of each of the academies can opt into a monthly accountability group to support ongoing growth. A supportive environment will guide each participant to share monthly wins, track goals and KPIs, and provide ongoing encouragement. All of this will be tracked digitally.
A private Linkedin group will be set up for interim support – referrals and feedback, not only from facilitators but also from other program participants.
$15,000 for each cohort - 10 participants per cohort
1. Ready to Launch?
2. Ready to Scale?
Several sessions can be offered leading up to the corresponding academy
$200 per workshop, unlimited participants
Minimum six people, Maximum 15 people
$99 per month per person
Felena Hanson is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing expert. Her 25-year career has included an array of business endeavors, from technology start-ups to digital marketing agencies. Hanson launched her first business, Perspective Marketing, in 2003. Through this experience, she found her passion for supporting female entrepreneurs through leadership roles with several professional women’s organizations, including Ladies Who Launch and Women’s Global Network.
She founded Hera Hub, a spa-inspired shared workspace and business accelerator for female entrepreneurs, in 2011. Hera Hub members have access to a professional space to meet with clients and to connect and collaborate with like-minded business owners, thus giving them the support they need to be prosperous.
Hanson is passionate about education. After finishing her MBA, she taught marketing and entrepreneurship as an adjunct at several universities. Hanson is a published author and international speaker. Her book, “Flight Club – Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business” is available on Amazon.
Julia Westfall is the CEO of Hera Hub DC, which supports many women-owned businesses with office and coworking space as well as programming and educational resources to help them be successful.
Julia is passionate about building a platform for female entrepreneurs to collaborate and support each other. Her experience working in tech early in her career, as well as with many small businesses over the years, gives her insight into what it takes to build and sustain a successful business.
In addition to supporting her membership, she has hosted two Hera Fast Pitch Competitions in 2018 and 2019, for female founders in the DC, MD, and VA region. Winners from these events were awarded over $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes and also received an opportunity to pitch in a national competition.
Julia is currently serving as an Advisory Board Member for both the Washington, DC and Maryland Women’s Business Centers. She is also currently a member of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). In 2019 she was named a DCA Live “Power Women in Tech” award recipient. She was also recognized by #BFF (Black Female Founders) as a “#BFF Supporter” in 2017. Previously, she served as a member of the board for The BEACON Initiative as well as the Economic Strengthening Chair for Tenleytown Main Street.
"Working with Julia has been a joy. The Launch Academy was a true savior as I created my consulting business in criminal justice reform. The practical advice and exposure to key business concepts were critical to my understanding of how to become a social entrepreneur. Also, working with other students provided the guidance and support I needed. Hera Hub is a game-changer for women who want to make an impact.
- Allison Pierre
Innovative Prosecution Consulting
I highly recommend the Hera Hub Launch Academy. Julia is a brilliant entrepreneur and mentor, and I’m so glad I opted into her program. Even though I have an MBA and a substantial amount of experience in business and advising entrepreneurs, I’ve still learned a lot and gotten wonderful and unique advice from Julia and the other participants. The program is extremely reasonably priced – in fact, I actually made back the entire program cost in new client revenue just by doing one of the homework assignments. Within two months of the academy, I had 14 clients.
- Bethany Quinn
Participating in the Business Launch Academy has been very beneficial. As a new entrepreneur in the service-based sector, I found that I was trying to learn in the dark. The program helped me to see the big picture and forced me to ask pertinent questions regarding my business. I also loved meeting and networking with other women entrepreneurs. I would highly recommend this program.
- Mary Banks
La Muse Press
I loved being a part of the Growth Academy! I've been in business for 4 years now, and my audience has changed, my plan has changed, and my services have changed. It was time for me to reassess my business goals and audience and plan to scale. The program helped me zoom out and map out a big picture plan for my business goals. I was able to see what areas I needed the most help with and where I was doing well. It really allowed me to analyze each aspect of my business with a more focused lens. The delegation module was an eye-opener! The academy structure was great because each aspect of the business was touched on, and the master spreadsheet allowed us to go into depth and really assess our current business needs. It was also structured so that it would be easy to go back and work with, or hand-off to a team member. The Growth Academy was motivating and inspiring! I loved working alongside established female entrepreneurs who are looking to continue their growth. I’m still in touch with our cohort six months later!
- Stephanie Singleton
The Growth Academy was full of useful information I could immediately apply to my business. It is structured to intensely focus on one area of your business every week for nine weeks - i.e. finance, operations, and people. The flexibility of the program allowed me to work on my "homework" during the week as I had time and then meet with the group every Friday to discuss it in detail. I would highly recommend it to business owners who are serious about developing a deeper understanding of their business and taking steps to position it for growth.”