Small Business Entreprenuers

The Knowledge for Impact Award

Investing in the growth of underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs

Social, educational, and economic inequity can hinder entrepreneurs from achieving their full potential. At Wharton Executive Education, we believe that academic institutions have a collective responsibility to help mitigate this inequity by providing access to continuing education, mentorship, and capital to underserved communities.

To that end, we have established the Knowledge for Impact Award to aid small business owners operating in low-income areas. This award is an investment in talented entrepreneurs around the country, as well as a commitment to diversity and inclusion in Wharton’s programming and classrooms.


For more information, please contact Client Relations at

What the Award Offers

The Knowledge for Impact Award enables six entrepreneurs per academic year to attend one upcoming Wharton Executive Education program at no cost. Their business must be located (or primarily conduct business) in a designated Opportunity Zone. The available programs, listed below, enable participants to acquire invaluable business and interpersonal skills as well as practical tools in finance and accounting, critical thinking, business strategy, digital leadership, and marketing.*

Online Programs (self-paced):

On-campus programs held in Philadelphia, PA (includes accommodations and most meals):

*Wharton Executive Education programs are of short duration and do not confer academic credit or count toward a degree from Wharton or the University of Pennsylvania.

Who Should Apply

Entrepreneurs and small business owners operating a business in a designated Opportunity Zone in the United States and U.S. territories who are striving to further their enterprise, and who are committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

A small business should meet at least one of the following criteria:

Successful award recipients should have an existing business that has been in operation for at least seven years and generates at least $500,000 in revenue.

The award is open to U.S. citizens or permanent green card holders only. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent green card holders are ineligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included with the award?

Award recipients can select and participate in one complimentary program (online or on campus) from the approved list. On-campus programs include accommodations and most meals.

When and how will recipients be notified?

Winners will be notified by email during the week of March 20, 2024 and must acknowledge acceptance by March 29, 2024. Award recipients will be invited to schedule a consultation with a Wharton Client Relations representative to discuss their needs and choose the most appropriate program from the approved list. Any additional questions can be answered at this time, as well.

What is expected of award recipients during the program?

Online programs are self-paced and learners have one year to complete the program. Please see duration and time commitment requirements on the specific program websites. On-campus programs require full-time participation and engagement while the program is running (for 4 or 5 consecutive weekdays).