Accelerate is Greenville’s private sector fueled economic development initiative. It exists above and beyond regular Greenville Chamber initiatives and focuses on four major strategies. One of those strategies is ‘increasing the number and performance of minority-owned businesses’, which is where the Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) comes in.
The Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) is a program of the Greenville Chamber’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative designed to advance economic inclusion. 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 program grows the economic success of disadvantaged organizations through business development services, mentoring, technical assistance and access to large corporations for partnership opportunities. The MBA program is focused on reducing disparity in the region's business community by driving economic activity for high-potential minority owned firms.
We recently followed up with a few of our past MBA participants to find out how things have changed for them and their business since MBA.
One participant said: “A lot of the information we obtained during our MBA class has been used to improve our business model. Since graduation we have implemented a lot of the goals we listed as crucial to the growth of our business. The biggest goal was moving our operation to a different location which would reduce our monthly rent and also make it easier for our clients to access our facility. We moved our location from Garlington Road to Simpsonville which allows us to cut our monthly rent in half. The move also reduced our yearly taxes by another $800 or more. The second goal was to establish more partnerships with other MBA alumni. We have successfully outsourced a lot of our screen printing services to a fellow MBE which has caused her business to grow at least 10-20% just for this business segment. We have also agreed that we will help the fellow MBE with their product offering which will establish more growth for her. The relationship will reduce our workload by 20% while increasing our response time to our customers. We have been able to mentor the MBE while benefitting from their expertise in their field.”
Another participant said: “Since my participation in the MBA program I have worked to strengthen my overall strategic plan and business operations. We have earned our SC MBE and landed a $100,000 annual contract for security services with the City of Greenville. I have gained many incredibly valuable relationships with program coaches, fellow cohorts, and vendors. These contacts have not only been willing and able to help with various questions I have had, but have helped me feel a part of our entrepreneurship community and not isolated like many CEO’s feel. We are currently assessing our future growth opportunities, but will most likely be expanding into other SC markets in the next year.”
Do you know anyone that should experience this influential program? Learn more and apply for the 2019 cohort here.