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Green For All Business Academies

Green For All Business Academies

Green For All is partnering with the University of Phoenix to convene a series of Business Academies aimed at supporting green entrepreneurs and small business owners – particularly those coming from low-income communities and communities of color.

We’ve already hosted Academies in Albuquerque, Portland, Philadelphia, Denver, Atlanta, Seattle and San Jose.

Our next Business Academy is taking place in Nashville, TN in Spring 2012.

E-mail [email protected] to indicate your interest and receive updates about future CAP Business Academy events.

For the latest on our Business Academies and other news, follow @greenforallBiz on Twitter.

April 2011: Atlanta Business Academy

At this free Academy, small business owners of all types - contractors, consultants, manufacturers, service providers - learned how they can benefit from the opportunities that exist in green business. The Business Academy introduced entrepreneurs to a multitude of resources that support the Atlanta-area green business community, including entrepreneurs, capital providers, public policies, helpful organizations and prospective partners. Speakers included:

  • Garry Harris, Center for Sustainable Communities / HTS Enterprises
  • Charles Whately, Atlanta Development Authority
  • Bernie Burgener, Green Chamber of the South
  • Michael Blake, StartupLounge


Philadelphia Business Academy: Green Infrastructure, 2/25/2011

Architecture, engineering, and construction firms will make or break the Philadelphia region's plans to transform their stormwater infrastructure from gray to green. 

This free Business Academy introduced a variety of topics to support Philadelphia's green infrastructure industry, including financing, training, the local supply chain, and return on investment. This event was hosted by the University of Phoenix, Green for All, and Business United for Conservation.

Green stormwater management and infrastructure present regions with an opportunity to create more environmentally sound solutions to combined sewer overflow (the mixture of sanitary and storm sewers) that will save money and create jobs. Philadelphia has proposed to invest $1.6B over the next 20 years to address green stormwater infrastructure solutions. There are nearly 2,500 firms in the green stormwater infrastructure supply chain in the Philadelphia region, representing more then $7.4 billion in sales. While market size is certain, the path to market remains vague.

Green For All is a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Business United for Conservation (BUC) is an Industry Partnership of companies that provide conservation and pollution mitigation services in the Philadelphia region.

Capital Access Program Visits the Rockies

Denver skylineWho says California is the nation's only clean tech leader? Colorado's innovation in the wind, solar, smart grid and bio-derived sectors are equally as impressive. Colorado is home to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), which has led the research, development, commercialization and deployment of national renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies for over 30 years. For this reason, Green For All, in partnership with the University of Phoenix, hosted a free, day-long Business Academy focused on providing Denver-area clean energy entrepreneurs with the tools, resources, and networking opportunities they need to scale their operations and create jobs. CEOs, capital providers, government officials, lenders, policymakers, public and private buyers, and other business support agencies all shared their insights on green business within their community. The Academy gave a realistic overview of the opportunities that exist within Denver's green business ecosystem, and to identified the policies, programs, capital providers, and potential partners that together will support the growth of this industry.

Panelists at the event included representatives from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as well as a diverse group of government officials. Carol Tombari, Manager of Stakeholder Relations at NREL, provided an overview of electricity supply, demand, generation and reliability for attendees. Using the concept of reliability as a guide, Ms. Tombari outlined an inspiring and sustainable future for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green business in the United States.

Guests also included Stephen Miller, President and CEO of CleanLaunch, who provided an overview of clean tech incubator programs and business support for clean tech start ups. Panelists, Staff, and Attendees mingled at the Element Hotel, the area's first green hotel. Hotel Staff offered tours of the hotel's numerous sustainable features.

Portland cityline

Portland Business Academy

Green For All, in partnership with the University of Phoenix, hosted a free, day-long Business Academy on June 25 in downtown Portland.  The event focussed on building the capacity of small business owners in the region, and providing them with the tools, resources, and network they need to scale their operations.  The goal was to convene successful entrepreneurs, lenders, policymakers, and business support agencies who can share their insights on green business within their community.  

Prospective attendees were concentrated in the energy efficiency sector, and particularly focused on the home performance and retrofitting work that is being performed in Portland.  As such, attendees included contractors, consultants, auditors, suppliers, and other small business owners and service providers. 

The Academy provided a realistic overview of the opportunities that exist within the region's energy efficiency ecosystem, and identify the policies, programs, and lenders that together support the growth of this industry.


Videos from Portland


  • Portland Mayor Sam Adams
  • John Berdes: CEO, Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia
  • John Haines: Executive Director, Mercy Corps Northwest
  • Jonathan Cohen: Principal, Imagine Energy
  • Jim Cole: Founder, OIS Distribution
  • Tom Beverly: Trade Ally Network Manager, Energy Trust of Oregon
  • Maurice Rahming: President, National Association of Minority Contractors
  • Terry Brandt: Executive Director, Albina Opportunities Corporation
  • Lynn Knox: Senior Program Manager, Portland Development Commission
  • Kevin S. Reilly: Home Performance Coordinator, LIUNA
  • Marshall Runkel: Principal, EcoTech LLC
  • Derek Smith: Policy Advisor, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, City of Portland
  • Berenice Lopez: Co-founder, Home Energy Life Performance Group
  • Brian Hansen: Founder, Bull Mountain Heating, Air Conditioning, and Insulation


Panels and Workshops

  • Energy Efficiency Market Analysis and Opportunities
  • Repairing Your Credit and Finding Capital in a Tight Lending Market
  • Panel of Entrepreneurs: Success Stories and Lessons Learned
  • Vertical Integration, from Suppliers to Subs, in the Home Performance Marketplace
  • Business Development Programs, Systems, and Certifications
  • HOMESTAR, Clean Energy Works Portland, and Other Supportive Policies and Incentives


We also provided supportive networking opportunities by bringing in small business lenders, investors, and/or government officials.

Those that were encouraged to attend include contractors, energy auditors, weatherization technicians, manufacturers and suppliers of energy efficiency products, civic entrepreneurs, consultants, and policy makers.

Feedback from Albuquerque, NM Business Academy

  • "Thanks for the opportunity to join you for the event, and I’m glad to hear that it was successful from your perspective – it certainly was from mine. I enjoyed serving on the [financing] panel and have already begun ongoing conversations [regarding equity investments] with a few attendees."
  • "I thought the panels and [Green For All’s] interaction were excellent and the attendees I spoke with felt the same.”
  • "I’m certain that it will continue to breed successful relationships long after you’ve gone."
  • "The content was interesting and I made several appointments to help small business owners."
  • "In addition to gaining a better understanding of the green economy from the entrepreneur perspective, I left with many contacts to expand my network."
  • "I was very impressed with your academy and approach to the emerging Green industry and opportunities as it relates to Indian Country."
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