About the URAP Program

The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development


Through this program entrepreneurs will gain critical skills required to manage and grow urban retail and restaurant business ventures. Participants will receive intensive business training, individual business and financial coaching, networking opportunities and ongoing mentoring over a 9-month period. This initiative will expose URAP participants to thought leaders experienced in finance, banking, marketing, accounting, and site selection to help them operate profitably, expand to new locations and foster community revitalization. Participants will also be part of the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI).

What to expect


Each month, you’ll meet for half a day of instruction and interaction. Experienced instructors — all experts in their fields — will share hands-on strategies you can begin applying immediately to your business.

The EPI sessions are held at Rutgers Business School in Newark, NJ and specific industry workshops are held at Rutgers Business School in Jersey City, NJ. Both locations are easily accessible via car and public transportation. Parking will be provided.

Individual Business Development and Financial Counseling

Each participant will work one-on-one with an experienced counselor to identify challenges and develop a plan to overcome them and grow your business. You’ll also work with a financial counselor who’ll help you understand the financial health of your business. They’ll also work with you to spot and correct potential problems and prepare you to be “loan ready,” whether you’re pursuing financing now or in the future.

Peer Empowerment Group

Learn and grow from the advice and experience of your fellow business owners. Participants will be divided into small peer groups that provide support throughout the program and enhance your professional network.

Business Growth Plan

At the completion of the URAP program, you’ll have a plan of action to expand your retail or restaurant business that you can immediately implement. Program participants will have the opportunity to present their growth plans to a panel of local business experts, corporate partners, micro lenders and venture capitalists and receive valuable, actionable feedback. The training and counseling sessions will guide you in creating a powerful growth plan.

Other Opportunities/Benefits

URAP participants, receive access to invitation-only events from our program partners, and gain the opportunity to put Rutgers MBA students to work on special projects for your business.

To gain the full benefit of the URAP, all participants must commit to:

  • Half a day training sessions 2-3 times per month (includes EPI and industry specific sessions)
  • Additional hours (approximately 9) over the nine month program for business development and financial coaching
  • Developing and presenting a customized growth plan for your business
  • Participants also take part in the EPI program


The URAP program is a 9-month program that is part of the EPI program and runs from April – December.