2020 MBA

Minority Business Accelerator

The Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) is a program of the Greenville Chamber’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative designed to advance economic inclusion. As one of the Greenville Chamber’s principal economic development initiatives, the MBA has been established to serve as a catalyst to drive a positive community economic impact, by increasing the overall capacity of locally-based high potential MBEs located within the market area. The MBA program prepares minority-owned businesses for growth and expansion to create a competitive advantage for Upstate, SC to become the most inclusive business community in the world. The MBA program grows the economic success of disadvantaged organizations through business development services, mentoring, technical assistance and access to large corporations for partnership opportunities. The program is focused on reducing disparity in the region's business community by driving economic activity for high-potential minority owned firms. Compelling evidence exists in other comparable areas that this type of program can lead to more viable and competitive MBEs that have the ability to grow and create meaningful job opportunities.



The MBA's mission is to help accelerate the development of high potential minority business enterprises (MBEs) and to strengthen and expand the regional minority entrepreneurial community.

The MBA delivers on its mission by using a two-pronged strategy: improving the readiness of local MBEs to serve as effective engines for economic development, and engaging the corporate community to more effectively utilize MBEs through local supplier diversity efforts. Both actions are essential for improving the overall economic base of Upstate South Carolina.

To learn more about becoming a MBA participant, contact Nika White, Senior Advisor for Diversity and Inclusion at nikawhiteconsulting@greenvillechamber.org.

For 2020, to help build a stronger pipeline of candidates for the MBA program, The Greenville Chamber has partnered with the SC SBDC to create and offer a custom curriculum as a feeder program to MBA. This program is called the “Entrepreneurial Pathways - Strategic Foundations” and is designed to better position candidates to be considered as a future MBA cohort member. While the SBDC program doesn’t guarantee acceptance into the MBA program, it does help participants address vital components of a successful business and also ensures that they will be able to continue receiving consulting and training assistance from the SBDC after the program. Even if you feel you don’t qualify or aren’t quite ready for MBA, apply anyway. When you apply to MBA you will be vetted for both opportunities to see which may fit you best. If neither of the programs align, SC SBDC will work with you directly to create a custom path to fit your needs.



2020 MBA Advisory Council

The MBA Advisory Council provides strategic guidance to the MBA program and its operating team, as well as serve as ambassadors of the program in and around the Upstate community – this includes within their respective organizations. The advice provided by the council is centered on optimizing MBA performance, through proper program structuring, contributing to programming content, adhering to the program’s strategic objectives, and providing value-driven solutions for participants in the program.

Kenzie Biggins
Erwin Carter
Louise Connell
Veera Gaul
Wendell Jones
Traci Newkirk
Beth Veach
Carlo White

2020 MBA Coaches
While Advisors are highly encouraged to serve in the capacity of “Coach” to at least one participating MBE, there may also be non-Advisors that serve in the capacity of “Coach”, as well. Coaches are individuals that agree to work one-on-one directly with the CEO of at least one MBA participant, to help them achieve a successful outcome through the MBA program. Typically, the assistance provided by the Coach is centered on specific goals established by the participant in their three-year strategic growth plan developed during the first half of the program.

James Bennett
Louise Connell
Veera Gaul
David Hanna
Rich Harris
Kathryn Harvey
Tony Johnson
Andy O'Mara
Jennifer Sutton
Beth Veach
Joe Wallace
Scott Whelchel
Carlo White
James White

2020 Financial Experts

Rich Cleys
Bill Robinson
Pat Sutton
Scott Whelchel

Our MBA Partners are like-minded organizations striving to advance economic inclusion and drive positive community impact.

“According to the 2018 Spartanburg County Racial Equity Index report, only 16.6% of local businesses are minority-owned.  We are partnering with the Greenville Chamber in hopes of improving this statistic and strengthening local minority owned businesses which in turn will benefit all.” - Allen Smith, President & CEO, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce







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