M&T today announced plans to open its Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This seven-week program is intended to assist local multicultural business owners in flourishing, growing, and pursuing new ideas by providing guidance and skills to expand and operate their businesses. Up to 50 entrepreneurs will be accepted into the program.
M&T will collaborate with the Innovation Center at the University of Bridgeport. Classes will be held at the John J. Cox Student Center at the University. The Innovation Lab will cover topics such as creating a business plan, credit fundamentals, marketing, legal entity formation, and pitch tips, among others. The program will conclude with a pitch competition, with M&T funding grants of up to $6,000.
Entrepreneurs who wish to participate in the program must submit an online application by August 5th, 2022, and must meet the following eligibility requirements:
Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, or Asian American;
No more than three years in business; and
Annual business revenue of $150,000 or less.
The M&T Bridgeport Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab will begin on September 21, 2022 and conclude on November 2, 2022 with a pitch competition.
"This program will have a positive impact not only on local businesses, but on the entire community, benefitting the area's multitude of talented and diverse entrepreneurs, Through our conversations with state and local officials, community leaders, academic institutions and many local business owners, we have worked together to deliver a proven approach that can help these businesses thrive and grow."
-Frank Micalizzi, M&T Regional President and Head of Commercial Banking for Bridgeport, CT
The Connecticut Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab is part of M&T's bank-wide mission to create a culturally fluent bank that understands and addresses the needs of the communities it serves. M&T established the Multicultural Banking & Diverse Market Strategy segment in 2020 to specifically address the needs of multicultural communities, businesses, and individuals.