Classroom Training

Community First Fund offers one-on-one counseling to clients as well as numerous classes aimed at educating prospective and current entrepreneurs.

Classes Are Available Now.  Register Below!

Scroll down to find the class you would like to attend

 You can register online by clicking the time and date underneath each course description

Current Class Offerings:

Biz 101: Are you ready for business ownership?

This free hour and a half seminar sets the stage for understanding the fundamentals of what it takes to be an ideal entrepreneur. This seminar will help you:

    • Weigh considerations in starting a business
    • Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in starting a business
    • Understand and adapt your life experience (skills) to the business arena
    • Understand the need of developing the business idea through sound research and development

No Fee

Harrisburg – Tuesday, November 18, 1pm-3pm

Harrisburg – Tuesday, December 9, 1pm-3pm


Central PA Lender Match – Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 10am-2pm

The Central PA Lender Match event’s focus is assisting small businesses—existing and start-up, alike— to identify financing solutions. This event will provide a forum for businesses to present their financing needs to area lenders.  At the event, lenders will briefly meet with business owners, review their financing needs, and schedule more detailed interviews with business owners whose needs may be a match with their lending portfolio.  To optimize event time for all participants, each entrepreneur will be given 10 minutes to make their pitch to a particular lender then move on to another lender.

The event will be hosted by:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Kutztown University Small Business Development Center
  • Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center
  • Women’s Business Center at Community First Fund
  • Harrisburg SCORE
  • Lancaster SCORE
  • York SCORE

Click here to register for the Central PA Lender Match


Lunchtime Loans!

Learn the inside scoop on what you need to do to get a business loan approved! Gain insight into what you can do to become a stronger business loan candidate!

Lunchtime Loan Image

Lunchtime Loans will be held each Friday at one of our four offices from  12pm – 1pm

 First Fridays at our office in  Lancaster (30 W. Orange)

Second Fridays at our office in Reading (505 Penn St)

Third Fridays at our office in York (226 E. Market St)

Fourth Fridays at our office in Harrisburg (3211 N. Front St)


The Power of Email Marketing

Join us for this seminar to jumpstart your email marketing and discover how to get the results you desire.  Presented by authorized Constant Contact local experts, Chuck Holder and Alice Buchman

Constant Contact, the world’s leader in email marketing is going to show you why and what you can do about it. With so much noise being made about “open rates” we will demonstrate something much more important- Best Practices.  Chuck Holder and Alice Buchman, local experts on Constant Contact’s Philadelphia Metro region team, will show you what no to do; include examples of what works – and why! This program is generic: it doesn’t matter what email program you currently use, Best Practices apply everywhere.   In the for-profit and in the non-profit world, much is at stake in this economy.  Come and learn how you can be productive, trusted, and grow your business.

In just a few short hours, this information-packed seminar will review the essential strategies and best practices a business or organization should understand to successfully get started with social media marketing.

Participants will have plenty of time to ask questions, share experiences, and network with peers.  And you will leave with real-world insights and knowledge that they can put to work immediately, to help their business or organization succeed.

To register please email Lydia at

York – Tuesday, November 18, 8:30am-12:30pm

Harrisburg – Tuesday, December 9, 8:30am-12:30pm

To register please email Lydia at



Finding Government Contracting Opportunities for Your

Every 20 seconds of each working day, the Federal Government awards a contract with an average value of nearly $500,000.

If your company has registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and you want to develop or refine skills to finding contracting opportunities, this seminar is for you.

Learn How To:

* The classification of goods and services impacts market research

* To perform market research using primary Federal procurement sites

*  To use procurement history and forecasts for market research

No Fee.


Paying Taxes as a Small Business Owner

Just in time for the tax season! Learn the ins and outs of business taxes and how to correctly file as a small business owner.   The seminar will also explain best practices that could save you hundreds of dollars!

The course will be taught by Dave Shiley who has been helping small businesses and individuals file their taxes for over a decade. Read more about Dave on his website at:

No Fee.


Find Your Target Market:  Market Research Best Practices

This 1.5 hour training will cover different types of market research and the importance for your business success.  It will also teach participants about existing resources and databases. This workshop is ideal for entrepreneurs planning to start their own business or for business owners looking to grow their existing business.

No Fee.

How to Use LinkedIn as a Business Tool

A hands on workshop to learn the ins and outs of LinkedIn and how it is used as a professional tool.  This class is taught by Rhonda Kleiman of the Rhonda Kleiman Group.

No Fee.


Business Insurance: What is right for you?

You know that you need insurance for your small business but looking through all of the options can get complicated. What is right for your business? What is too much coverage? How can you save money but still receive a quality plan?

Learn the answers to these questions and much more from a business insurance professional.


Choose the Right Business Structure for your Business

Join the Women’s Business Center of Community First Fund and Mike Montali of Harbor Compliance to learn about the existing business structures.  Mike will discuss the pros and cons of different business structures and key points of consideration when deciding which structure is right for your business. Set your business up correctly right from the start!

  • What is does it mean to be an LLC?
  • Should I choose to form a Sole Proprietorship?
  • Is non-profit right for my business?
  • Find the answers to these questions and more!

No Fee.

Managing Conflict and Resistance

During this 3-hour training, you will (1) learn your conflict style; (2) understand the impact that your conflict style has on others; (3) identify reasons others oppose or resist your ideas and suggestions; and (4) explore ways to manage conflict and reduce resistance

This class is taught by Kathleen King of The Power of Possibilities.

No Fee.

The Loan Approval Process: “Making a Winning Loan Presentation” and Finance 101

The Women’s Business Center at Community First Fund is offering an informative training event that teaches individuals the fundamentals of the loan approval process. This event focuses on basic banking practices in this credit culture and how financial institutions use the loan approval process to determine an individual’s creditworthiness. This training is designed for those interested in becoming a stronger loan candidates, are in need of capital to finance a project, or are simply interested in learning how to evaluate their own financial capacity.

No Fee.


Breaking Into Government Contracting: How a small business can sell to the federal government

Are you considering  selling your products or services to Federal, State or local governments? There are many myths associated with these markets but there are also many rewards!   If you are a successful,  well organized business we can give you insights on how to succeed in the government marketplace – thousands of small businesses do NOW!  The Federal government buys over $450 billion of goods and services every year and State/local governments buy billions more. Should you participate?  Attend this seminar and learn  the ins and outs and, if selling to the government is right for your business.

No Fee.


Government Procurement: Certifying your Business WBE/MBE

Learn about the different certifications offered at the Federal level and how certifying your business may help win government contracts.  Topics to be covered will also include the process and steps needed to certify your business as women or minority owned and a description of the Hub Zone and 8a programs.

No Fee.


Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Informational Session

Come and learn about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.  This informational session will cover why this program may be right for you as you try to grow your small business.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses provides entrepreneurs with access to practical business courses, financial capital, and powerful networking opportunities to help their businesses grow. Through the support of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, business owners selected to participate will receive a scholarship covering the full cost of tuition and program materials. For more information please click here.

No Fee.


Government Procurement: Marketing Strategies

This hands-on class will enable participants to begin navigating the various federal databases for federal contracting.  The SBA staff will provide a live demonstration of the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) and FedBizOpps, focusing not only on the mechanics of searching these systems, but how to effectively interpret the data that is presented.  By using the data found in these systems, small businesses can better target sales opportunities to maximize efforts is pursuing federal contracts.  This training is co-hosted by the Duke St Business Center at the Lancaster Public Library.

No Fee.


The Affordable Care Act and Your Small Business

Join the Women’s Business Center and the Lancaster chapter of SCORE to learn how the Affordable Care Act effects your small business.

Wondering what all the recent changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mean? Are you still confused if you, as a small business owner, need to provide health insurance? Are you trying to figure out how to qualify for the small business tax credit? This series is designed to help you understand what you should consider in making the best decision for your business and your employees.  Preparing for the Act is no small task. The SBA is your partner, ready to help you navigate, adapt and continue to find solutions that work for you.

Coverage changes and consumer protections are among the biggest provisions of the ACA. By now, a lot of them are familiar. Many of the more sweeping changes are beginning to take effect. These seminars can help to provide you with the answers.


How to Create an Engaging Facebook Page for your Business

In this two-hour seminar, learn how to create an engaging Facebook for your small business.  Having the right Facebook page will allow your small business to stay relevant with your existing customers and may help you to get new clients!


Keys to Success: Tools for Business Planning

Your time is valuable, let the  Women’s Business Center provide you expert training in 4 weeks time (one day a week).

This business planning course lasts four weeks and details each area of the Core Four Business Model:

1. Success Planning: trainees will take key steps to understanding and building a business plan, learn the importance of setting goals, separating an individual from the business, and the characteristics of a successful business owner.

2. Market Planning: trainees will gain knowledge about their  market place, needs/wants of the customer, distribution methods, learn more about competition and how to stand out, marketing and promotion.

3. Cash Flow Planning: trainer will take the fear out of constructing cash flow projections and help trainees plan the cash flow for their business and understanding financing, financial literacy.

4. Operations Planning: trainers will identify different legal forms of business, zoning and business licenses, and importance of operating a legal, legitimate business.

“…the class was very informative.  Great for a start up business to learn about how to start and where to start.” – Michael A. Key, course attendee

$75 Fee.

Email for more information!




Government Procurement: Maximizing Strategic Partnerships

Maximizing Strategic Partnerships and Relationships:  In many cases, small businesses need to work with other firms in order to meet the requirements on federal contracts.  In this workshop, the SBA staff will outline four different strategies for partnering with other businesses:

  • subcontracting;
  • joint ventures;
  • mentor/protégé programs;
  • channel sales.

We will discuss the positives and negatives of each strategy so that firms can make appropriate decisions on which strategy or strategies may be the best fit for their firm to better take advantage of federal contracting.

No Fee.


The Basics of Doing Business with the Government

Learn how small businesses can pursue contracting opportunities at the federal and state level. The seminar will cover the following topics:

          • How to be a government contractor
          • How to become federally certified as a woman-owned or minority-owned business
          • Understanding federal purchasing procedures
          • Understanding which federal agencies need what you sell
          • How to market your business directly to deferral agencies
          • Where to locate bid opportunities online

“The information was practical and their (presentation) styles were engaging.  I learned a lot for free!” – Michelle McCall, course attendee 

No Fee.


Networking, Networking, Networking!

Face-to-face business networking with other entrepreneurs is an important part of being a successful small business owner. Not only can business networking help you grow your customer base and generate referrals, but it can also provide numerous opportunities for learning, development and growth.

Have you perfected your elevator pitch yet?  If not, come and learn how to network while you network!  This two hour event will help you create your 30 second commercial to sell yourself and your business in any situation.  Build valuable contacts to grow your business while you enjoy refreshments.



Proposal Preparation and Submission

Learn how to respond to a federal government Request for Proposal (RFP).  The workshop will cover how to dissect the solicitation, organize your effort and team and writing the proposal document.  This workshop is designed for situations where the government issues a solicitation for qualified businesses to respond to a detailed scope of work.  The workshop will assist you in creating the documents from scratch to meet the RFP instructions.