Published on October 13th, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff



(Greenville, SC) The Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) program has partnered with national non-profit Interise to help transition established business owners from working in their business to strategically working on their business. MBA 2017 will feature Interise’s award-winning, internationally-recognized StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum designed to provide established small business owners with the knowledge, management know-how and networks needed to grow.

More than 4,000 promising small businesses across the country have completed Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum since it was first delivered in Boston a decade ago. Through the curriculum, small business owners gain the tools and accountability necessary to grow their established small businesses, create jobs and revitalize local economies. StreetWise ‘MBA’™ graduates reported revenue growth of nearly 40% last year.

Local business leader Toby Stansell has been selected to facilitate the curriculum for MBA 2017, which is designed to build the resilience needed for growth, including strategies and tactics to increase revenue, improve financial management and gain access to capital. The 6-7 month program includes 100 total hours of work performed by business owners, 13 in-class sessions, seven CEO mentoring groups, and a live-case analysis. Upon program completion, each participating businesses will have a strategically-sound growth plan along with the knowledge and network to execute it.

Basic program eligibility requirements include $250,000-$10 Million in annual revenue, at least one full time employee in addition to the owner, and having been in business for 3+ years. An information session will be held on November 1st at the Greenville Chamber from 2-3:30pm to go over program and application details for those considering the program. Applications for the program will be accepted until November 30th at 5pm. Applications and information session registration are online at greenvillechamber.org.

According to Chamber Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Nika White, “We know that many minority businesses have the potential to become larger, stronger companies. We are excited about the partnership with Interise because we know that adding this innovative training program that has a proven track record in other markets will help foster economic inclusion, provide access to capital, and create jobs.”

Chamber President/CEO Carlos Phillips notes, “Partnering with Interise to deliver the MBA 2017 program represents a significant opportunity for many Greenville area businesses, and aligns with one of our Accelerate goals to increase the number and performance of minority owned businesses.”

“Interise is thrilled to partner with the Greenville Chamber to build the capacity of growth-oriented, established small businesses,” says Interise CEO Jean Horstman. “Through our partnership, together we’ll provide a way to take participating businesses to higher ground, explore wider growth possibilities, and acquire the knowledge, know-how, relationships and resources needed to move onward and upward. In so doing, the Chamber will play a leadership role in creating jobs and economic health in the Greenville and Upstate South Carolina economies.”

About Interise
Interise is an innovative non-profit organization that promotes the economic revitalization of lower income communities. They provide diverse groups of small business owners with the entrepreneurial education, connections and access to markets needed to grow their established businesses. Their academically developed curriculum, StreetWise Steps™ is designed to create jobs, strengthen business networks, and develop community leaders. Since 2004, Interise’s unique approach of focusing exclusively on existing small business owners interested in growth has created tangible outcomes for business owners in low- to moderate-income communities. A most recent Impact Report indicates that Interise has established itself as a proven leader in educating and training established entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, and in turn, their communities (see http://www.interise.org/our_impact/).

About the Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator Program
The Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) program actively seeks to improve the capacity of minority owned firms by increasing recognition of the value of minority businesses as suppliers, strategic partners, and, ultimately, as effective engines for job growth, economic development and wealth creation. The program prepares high potential minority-owned businesses for accelerated growth and expansion through business development services, mentoring, targeted training, access to large corporations for partnership opportunities and custom roadmap to sustainable growth. MBA helps business owners overcome growth barriers and creates access to new opportunities for ethnic diverse businesses, connecting them with the right resources and results-driven strategies to fuel their growth and build capacity.

Since its inception in 2013, the Greenville Chamber’s MBA has served 33 firms, seen over $5 million in contracts awarded, and has created approximately 80 jobs.

About the Greenville Chamber
The Greenville Chamber, now in its 128th year of operation, is the largest business organization in Upstate South Carolina with over 2200 Investors supporting the vision of a globally competitive Upstate economy where businesses succeed and people prosper. For more information, visit www.greenvillechamber.org or call 864-242-1050.


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