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Minority Business Accelerator Highlights

Posted by: Nika White on Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator Program helps accelerate the development of high potential minority business enterprises (MBEs) to strengthen and expand the regional minority entrepreneurial community. Occasionally, we spotlight the participating companies and their success stories or other MBA news of interest. This particular blog is dedicated to sharing information concerning new developments for the 2017 cohort. 

Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) is a program of the Greenville Chamber which 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. MBA 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 MBEs overcome growth barriers 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.

MBA Facts:

  • Established by Greenville Chamber with first cohort in 2013
  • 33 Firms Served since inception
  • Over $5Mil in contracts awarded since inception
  • Approximately 80 jobs created since inception

For 2017, the Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator, will use the award-winning and internationally-recognized StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum, developed by Interise to aid the business owners in developing a three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan™, which is customized to their individual business and details the strategies and tactics the owner and staff will take to increase revenue, financial management and improve access to capital. Interise’s program, which is taught over a 6-7 month period, equates to 100 total hours of work performed by business owners which includes 13 in-class sessions, seven CEO mentoring groups, and the application of the Interise live-case analysis method to their business. This work transitions the business owners from working in their business to strategically working on their business. The curriculum is designed to build the resilience needed for growth and to integrate the small business owner into a network of peers who support each other as they move towards that goal. Access to seasoned local business experts from a variety of industries and institutions is included in this part of the curriculum. In the remaining 60 hours of the program the business owners will participate in a Peer CEO to Peer CEO Mentoring Group, a self-directed group that acts as a trusted advisory board, and will use the Interise Live-Case Method to analyze their business operations and needs. After completing the 6-7 month program, each of the participating businesses will have a strategically-sound growth plan and the knowledge to execute it. This small business executive education curriculum is focused on outcomes for participating small businesses: job maintenance, creation and quality; revenue growth, increased access to capital. Interise is an innovative non-profit organization that promotes the economic revitalization of lower income communities by providing diverse groups of small business owners with the entrepreneurial education, connections and access to markets needed to grow their established businesses through this proprietary curriculum called the StreetWise MBATM.  Since 2004, Interise’s unique approach of focusing exclusively on existing small business owners interested in growth has created tangible outcomes for business owners. The most recent Impact Report indicates, Interise has established itself as a proven leader in educating and training established entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, and in turn, their communities.

Basic Eligibility Requirements for 2017 Cohort:

  • $250,000 - $10 Million in annual revenue
  • At least one other full time employee besides the owner
  • Been in business for 3+ years
  • Demonstrate ability to actively engage and successfully complete the program
  • Socially/Economically disadvantaged business (minority owned, women-owned), or small businesses located in lower income urban communities
  • Business must be headquartered or have a significant presence in the one of the 10 counties of the Upstate, SC


  • MBA Information Session for 2017 Cohort:
    • Date: November 1, 2016 from 2pm to 3:30 pm at the Greenville Chamber. Registration to attend is currently open.
  • Application Process:
    • Greenville Chamber will be accepting applications through November 30, 2016 at 5pm.


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