Start the DreamBuilder certificate or the stand-alone Access to Capital course entitled "Financing Your Dream."

New Course: Financing Your Dream


DreamBuilder is a free, online learning program designed to give you the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to start or grow your own business. You are also encouraged to enroll in DreamBuilder if you are simply interested in learning more about business and entrepreneurship. The courses are 100% available online, so they are available anytime and anywhere you are connected. Building your dream of your own small business is just a click away.

Do you have more questions? Visit our FAQ page.


DreamBuilder consists of 13 courses that are bundled together to create a step-by-step framework for launching your own small business. Most courses take one to two hours to complete, and can be completed at your own pace whenever and wherever it is most convenient for you. These courses will guide you through the process of starting your own business. At the end of the program you will have a completed, personalized business plan that will help turn your dream into a reality.  Course 14 is a stand alone, companion course to DreamBuilder, entitled, “Financing Your Dream.” It walks you through the process of creating a Capital Action Plan to obtain funding for your business.

Course 1: Starting Your Dream

In this course, you will review important factors for deciding whether or not to follow your dream of starting or growing a business. You will learn about some of the rewards that entrepreneurship brings, and review some of the challenges that entrepreneurs face. You will see how your decision to become an entrepreneur will impact you, your family, and your community. You will review traits of successful entrepreneurs. At the end of this course, you will be introduced to the business plan tool that is built into this program, and will start working on your business plan.

  • Topic 1: Should I Follow My Dream?
  • Topic 2: Rewards of Entrepreneurship
  • Topic 3: Common Challenges Entrepreneurs Face
  • Topic 4: Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs
  • Topic 5: Am I Ready?
Course 2: Exploring Your Dream
In this course, you will explore your business idea in greater detail. You will learn about internal and external sources of business ideas and the importance of sharing your idea for feedback. You will learn about customers and competitors, start to do some market research, and think about laws and regulations that may apply to your business idea.
  • Topic 1: Internal vs. External Sources of Inspiration
  • Topic 2: Sharing Your Dream
  • Topic 3: What Is a Customer?
  • Topic 4: What Is a Competitor?
  • Topic 5: Market Research
  • Topic 6: Laws & Regulations
Course 3: Planning Your Dream

In this course, you will learn what a business plan is and why you need it. You will review the different sections of a business plan, and explore some ways it can guide your decision-making. You will learn about the DreamBuilder business plan generator and resources.

  • Topic 1: To Obtain Your Dream, You Need a Map
  • Topic 2: What are the Sections of a Business Plan?
  • Topic 3: Getting the Most Out of the Business Plan Tool
  • Topic 4: Additional Tools and Resources for your Business Plan
  • Topic 5: How Do You Use a Business Plan?
Course 4: Making Your Dream

In this course, you will identify the type of business you will start or grow: a product-based business, a service-based business, or a combined product and service-based business. You will be guided through all of the steps and activities required to make your product or deliver your service.

  • Topic 1: What Do I Need to Think About?
  • Topic 2: The “What” Questions
  • Topic 3: The “Who” Questions
  • Topic 4: The “Where” Questions
  • Topic 5: The “When” Questions
  • Topic 6: The “How” Questions
Course 5: Marketing Your Dream

In this course, you will discover why marketing is important. You will learn how to communicate the value of your product or service to potential customers. You will find out how to identify your target market and learn about the importance of positioning and branding. You will create an elevator speech, and explore ways to share your story through advertising and digital marketing.

  • Topic 1: Why Marketing is Important
  • Topic 2: What is Your Target Market?
  • Topic 3: Make Your Product or Service Stand Out
  • Topic 4: How Will People Identify Your Product or Service?
  • Topic 5: Crafting Your Elevator Speech
  • Topic 6: Sharing Your Story Through Advertising
  • Topic 7: Digital Marketing
Course 6: Pricing Your Dream

In this course, you will learn how to set prices for your product or service. You will think about the value customers get from your product or service and the price they are willing to pay. You will learn how to calculate costs and decide on pricing that works for your business. You will review the difference between direct and indirect costs and consider what to do if your costs are too high. Finally, you will be encouraged to make sure that your pricing fits with your marketing message.

  • Topic 1: Understanding Value
  • Topic 2: How Do You Set a Price?
  • Topic 3: Calculating Your Direct Costs
  • Topic 4: Calculating Your Indirect Costs
  • Topic 5: What if My Costs Are Too High?
  • Topic 6: My Pricing and Marketing
Course 7: Selling Your Dream

In this course, you will learn about selling, and how it contributes to your overall success as an entrepreneur. You will consider why people buy your product or service. You will explore the importance of looking beyond a single sale and the benefits of excellent customer service. Finally, you will consider how every employee is a salesperson and learn how to make a sales projection.

  • Topic 1: What is Selling?
  • Topic 2: The Importance of Selling
  • Topic 3: Why Do People Buy from You?
  • Topic 4: Lifetime Value and Customer Service
  • Topic 5: Every Employee is a Salesperson
  • Topic 6: Making a Sales Projection
Course 8: Managing Your Dream

In this course, you will learn how to manage the different areas of your business to keep on top of things and make a profit. This includes hiring, training, and managing employees. You will review how to manage family members and good and bad employees. You will consider how to manage your time, money, and information.

  • Topic 1: The Basics of Management
  • Topic 2: Managing the Hiring Process
  • Topic 3: Managing Your Team
  • Topic 4: Managing Family members
  • Topic 5: Managing Good and Bad Employees
  • Topic 6: Managing Time and Money
  • Topic 7: Managing Information
Course 9: Profiting From Your Dream

In this course, you will learn how to determine if your business is earning a profit, and consider what to do if your business isn’t profitable. You will review the concepts of profit, loss, and break even. You will examine the sections of a Profit and Loss Statement and how to use this document. You will consider some reasons why your business may not make a profit and how to correct this. Finally, you will explore what to do if your business is profitable.

  • Topic 1: Profit, Loss, and Break Even
  • Topic 2: The Profit and Loss Statement
  • Topic 3: Using Your Profit and Loss Statement
  • Topic 4: What if You’re Not Profitable?
  • Topic 5: What If You Do Have a Profit?
Course 10: Keeping Track of Your Dream

In this course, you will explore why it is important to have a system for tracking the money that flows in and out of your business. You will learn about bookkeeping and accounting terms and processes, including Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable and the use of a Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Projections. You will see how these statements can help you track the financial health of your business. Finally, you will review other accounting resources.

  • Topic 1: Get Organized, Pay Attention, Keep Track
  • Topic 2: Bookkeeping
  • Topic 3: Accounts Payable & Receivable
  • Topic 4: Other Cash Items
  • Topic 5: Using a Balance Sheet
  • Topic 6: Cash Flows and Cash Flow Projections
  • Topic 7: Accounting Resources
Course 11: Funding Your Dream

In this course, you will think about how much money you really need to start or grow your business. You will review different sources of funding, and learn how your business plan can help you get funding.

  • Topic 1: Sometimes You Need Money to Start
  • Topic 2: How Much Money Do You Really Need?
  • Topic 3: Sources of Funds
  • Topic 4: Telling Your Story to Investors
Course 12: Formalizing Your Dream

In this course, you will explore the legal considerations involved in starting or growing a business. You will learn about contracts and agreements and experts who provide guidance with these documents. You will explore possible legal structures for your business. You will review the importance of complying with laws and regulations and dealing with risk.

  • Topic 1: Contracts and Agreements
  • Topic 2: Experts Who Can Help
  • Topic 3: Choosing the Right Legal Structure
  • Topic 4: Compliance with Regulations and Legal Obligations
  • Topic 5: Dealing with Risk
Course 13: Turning Your Dream Into Reality

In this course, you will learn how an Action Plan can help guide your business. You will work on setting goals and identifying potential challenges. You will consider how to leverage your allies and resources and create an Advisory Board and timeline for launch. You will learn how the templates on the DreamBuilder platform may help in all of these areas. Finally, you will print your graduation certificate and business plan.

  • Topic 1: Creating Your Action Plan
  • Topic 2: Setting Your Goals
  • Topic 3: Identifying Challenges
  • Topic 4: Using Your Allies and Resources
  • Topic 5: Creating an Advisory Board
  • Topic 6: Setting Your Timeline
  • Topic 7: Program Resources
  • Topic 8: Graduation
Course 14: Financing Your Dream

In this stand alone, companion course to DreamBuilder, you will determine the needs and sources of funding for your business. You will learn about different types of capital and create a Capital Action Plan to secure it.

  • Topic 1: Are You Ready?
  • Topic 2: What Do You Need Capital For?
  • Topic 3: Where to Find Capital
  • Topic 4: Understanding Debt
  • Topic 5: Understanding Equity
  • Topic 6: Making the “Ask”
  • Topic 7: Your Next Steps