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Upstate Chambers Partner to Expand Reach of Minority Business Accelerator Program

Published Tuesday, October 29, 2019 3:00 pm

       

The Greenville Chamber is partnering with the Anderson and Spartanburg Chambers of Commerce to broaden the scope of the Minority Business Accelerator to the Upstate. Historically comprised of primarily Greenville-based businesses, this partnership will expand the reach of the award-winning program throughout the Upstate.

The Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) program provides robust business training and development services to minority, veteran, and woman-owned firms in Upstate, SC. Pending acceptance, businesses now qualify for the program through investment in Anderson and Spartanburg Chambers. While the program has always been available to businesses throughout the Upstate, this partnership further expands access to the program.

“We are excited to be partnering with the Greenville Chamber in offering the MBA Program,” says Pam Christopher, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO. “As a business organization it is our mission to strengthen our business community and economy so that our businesses can thrive. This program is essential to growing and strengthening our minority businesses. I believe that this program will be the centerpiece for elevating our minority businesses in Anderson County and the region.”

Allen Smith, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, stated that, “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.”

Using the internationally-recognized Interise StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum, participants are guided through a rigorous year-long program during which time they learn business principals under the guidance of instructors and mentors. Since inception in 2013, more than 80 companies have completed the program.

“To better compete on a global scale, it is imperative that we take a regional approach to economic development,” says Carlos Phillips, Greenville Chamber President & CEO. “Partnering with our peers in Anderson and Spartanburg mirrors other strategic efforts, such as the Upstate Chamber Coalition, to combine our collective assets to strengthen our region. Removing barriers will expose the transformative MBA program to even more Upstate businesses.”

The MBA program is one of only six in the nation offered by Chambers of Commerce. To qualify, businesses must be based in the Upstate, socially or economically disadvantaged (minority, veteran or woman-owned, as well as those serving lower income communities), and a member of the Anderson, Greenville or Spartanburg Chamber.

Also new in 2020 is the addition of the feeder program, produced in partnership with Greenville Area Small Business Development Center, designed to support those organizations that do not yet qualify for the MBA program.

Applications are open until November 15th. Learn more at www.greenvillechamber.org/mba.

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