Public Assistance to Entrepreneurship (PA2E)

The Public Assistance to Entrepreneurship Program (PA2E) offers classes on starting a business. Courses are conducted in a classroom setting with other Department of Human Services (DHS) customers in your local area. The primary goal is to provide entrepreneurship training for customers with ideas and talent, who are in pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams of starting a small business while supporting their families. DHS conveniently partners with the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) regionally across the State. If you would like to be considered and have a business idea with a desire to be an Entrepreneur, APPLY HERE

Potential Candidates:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Temporary Cash Assistance Recipients
  • Non-Custodial Parents
  • Foster Youth
  • Veterans on Assistance

Course Length and Times:

Duration is approximately 6 weeks long and includes 8 courses. Classes are 1-2 times per week for approximately two hours each. Courses are held in the Spring and Fall.

Course List:

  • Entrepreneurship 101
  • Marketing Research
  • Financial Statements
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Credit Restoration
  • A to Z Loan Process
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Business Plan Presentation


  • Entrepreneurship Training
  • Workforce Development Training Credit
  • Group Setting with Peers
  • SBDC Business Consultants

Success Stories:

Frederick gas station owner aspires to turn part of site into takeout eatery

For now, the BP gas station on West Seventh Street in Frederick looks exactly like a gas station.


PA2E celebrates three Shore entrepreneurs

CAMBRIDGE — Local Department of Social Services directors, Maryland Small Business Development Center representatives and others convened in Dorchester County to honor three entrepreneurs from the Eastern Shore.


Helping people from public assistance to business ownership

Tears welled in Alicia Crawford’s eyes as she recalled the ways people helped her start her Hagerstown hair studio.


Maryland DHS Celebrates Public Assistance to Entrepreneurship Strategy Graduates

On August 1, local Department of Social Services (DSS) directors, Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) representatives, and others convened at the Dorchester County DSS to honor three entrepreneurs from Maryland’s Upper Shore; Talisha Dodd of Talbot County was among the three praised for distinction.