University of Wisconsin–Madison

ETP vs. Biz Smart Sprint – Which is Right for You?

The Small Business Development Center at UW-Madison offers several open-enrollment opportunities to learn more if you are thinking about starting a business or actively engaged in the process of getting your business off the ground.

First, we recommend starting your exploration process with First Steps to Starting a Business. This free, interactive, online class will help you explore your business idea and assess your entrepreneurial readiness as well as identify your own strengths and weaknesses as a business owner.  Discover what information you need and where to find it. The class includes downloadable worksheets, hands-on exercises, local entrepreneur stories, and additional resources to determine your next steps.

After you’ve taken First Steps, you can dive deeper into your learning with Biz Smart Sprint  or the Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP). Which program is right for you? Visit the program websites, and view the comparison chart below to help you decide.

Compare: Biz Smart Sprint vs. the Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP)

Course Element Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) Biz Smart Sprint
Timing Offered in fall & spring semesters Offered in the summer
Time commitment 20 hours of instructional time, plus out-of-class time to complete workbook requirement (anticipated 8-15 hours). Attendance is required at 75% of instructional time. 12.5 hours of instructional time. Come and go as you please.
This course is best suited for entrepreneurs who …are serious about jump-starting their business

…have more complex business ideas that may require staffing, a physical location, product development and manufacturing, etc.

…currently own a business and wish to reevaluate their business plan

…currently own a business and wish to seek bank funding for the first time

…have a shorter (within a year) launch timeline

…wish to walk out of the class with written goals for their business

…are exploring the idea of starting a business

…want a “101” or refresher on business basics and terminology but do not need a written plan

…have smaller or less complex businesses that do not require external funding (consultants, solopreneurs, service-based businesses that do not require extensive supplies or licensure)

…have a longer or unspecified launch timeline

Tone and layout of the course Structured, fast-paced course geared toward completion of your business workbook. This workbook can serve as an early draft of a full business plan. Because of the time spent on out-of-class work on the workbook, this course has a significantly higher time commitment. Learning-focused course that provides you with a wide variety of business concepts and tools to help you independently consider different elements of your business. This class is designed to help you learn business basics and does not require a specific outcome.
No-cost individual business planning consulting from an SBDC Business Consultant (optional) yes yes
Independent, expert, third-party review of your completed business workbook yes  
Taught by an experienced business professional yes yes
Full-day additional instruction from specialized business experts, including SBDC consultants and professionals in law, accounting, market research, and business banking. yes  
Detailed step-by-step workbook requirement to help you create a concrete direction for your business yes  
Structured time to provide and receive feedback on your workbook yes  
CEU’s and a completion certificate upon completion of workbook for class yes  
Access to GrowthWheel online platform to help you create a simple business profile   yes