Interise, a national non-profit headquartered in Boston, has partnered with The Urban League of Springfield and Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts to offer NextStage Minority Business Entrepreneur Academy and NextStage Accelerator powered by Interise."We are excited to bring these programs to our small business community as they are the heart of each town and city in the region", said Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts Interim CEO & President Dr. Keith Motley.
"NextStage Minority Business Entrepreneur Academy and NextStage Accelerator will provide a welcomed boost to Springfield area minority-owned small business, and we are grateful for this partnership with Interise and Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts," added Urban League of Springfield Consultant/CEO & President Yvette M. Frisby.
The programs will use Interise's StreetWise MBA curriculum with an emphasis on procurement readiness and provide minority-owned small businesses with the knowledge, know-how and networks needed for business growth and expansion."These programs are yet another way to provide much-needed assistance to minority-owned small business owners located in key cities throughout the state of Massachusetts," said Interise CEO Darrell Byers. "We are honored to partner with Urban League of Springfield and Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts on this important initiative."
Nationwide approximately 10 to 18% of small businesses are BIPOC-owned, while less than 1.5% of BIPOC-owned small businesses are successful in securing contracts. Securing long-term contracts provides predictable revenue, a critical success factor for any small business.Historically, Interise companies become-contract ready through StreetWise'MBA' program. Companies that have completed these programs have achieved greater success procuring contracts with an average increase in revenue of 36% and a job creation rate 4x that of the private sector.
Byers added, "We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop a more inclusive economy in Massachusetts by helping BIPOC-owned small businesses secure government and corporate contracts. The Federal Infrastructure Bill alone comprises a total spending of more than $3 trillion over the next five to ten years."
The program will be offered throughout the Commonwealth with a focus on Gateway Cities and is funded through a $3 million earmark from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act in a spending bill signed by former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.The first cohorts began in April in Holyoke, Worcester County and Merrimack Valley and subsequent cohorts will launch in Pittsfield, Fall River, New Bedford, Lynn, and Springfield in the next few weeks. The programs will also launch in Boston and Brockton later this year. NextStage Accelerator will be offered in both English and Spanish while NextStage Minority Business Entrepreneur Academy will be in English only.
Interise builds diverse and inclusive local economies through small business development, supporting the growth of minority-owned small businesses and small businesses located in low- and moderate-income communities. Interise contributes to inclusive economic development through its national research on the growth of established small businesses and its award-winning business development programs. As Interise companies grow, they contribute to local job creation and build community wealth. Interise companies historically create new jobs at five times the rate of the private sector and are responsible for the creation of over 30,000 new jobs. Interise partners with government agencies, anchor institutions, and business associations to offer the StreetWise 'MBA'™ program in more than 80 cities nationwide. Strategic Growth Partners include the Kauffman Foundation, the TD Bank Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Prudential Foundation.
About The Urban League of Springfield, Inc.
The Urban League of Springfield, Inc., serves the African American Community in Greater Springfield by advocating for and providing model services that enhance the academic and social development of young people and families, promoting economic self-sufficiency, and fostering racial inclusion and social justice.
About The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and one of the oldest affiliates within the National Urban League movement. Since 1919, the doors opened to the at-large Boston community and surrounding metropolitan area residents, ULEM has been employing a multi-point strategy to deliver services and programs which aim to increase self-reliance, specifically in the area of workforce and economic development.