LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Greater Louisville Inc. is continuing its commitment to inclusion and the advancement of minority-owned small businesses and professionals in the region through the launch of a new initiative, the Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator, powered by Interise.
The program is designed for minority, small business owners who want to take their business to the next level within the region. This cohort style program will begin April 2021, and the application portal is live now.
“We are thrilled to partner with Interise, a national leader in this work, to bring a proven model for growth to our region’s minority-owned businesses,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president/ CEO of GLI. “GLI’s Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator builds on our commitment to creating equitable opportunities to build wealth in our region. This program will fulfill an important need in our business community by helping our minority-owned businesses scale and grow their operations through training in key areas like finance, human resources, and marketing.”
The foundation for this program lies in Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’, a nationally recognized, award-winning curriculum designed to accelerate the growth of existing small businesses. The StreetWise ‘MBA’ uses a peer-learning method to provide small business owners with the knowledge, know-how, and networks necessary to grow and scale. Industry experts, business peers, and the program’s instructor provide insights, strategies, motivation, and accountability. At the end of the program, participants walk away with a vetted individualized three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan™ outlining the action steps required to achieve their business goals.
Valued in excess of $15,000 per student but provided free of charge, GLI’s Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator will provide participants with the tools to advance their business operations, financial management, marketing and sales, human resource tactics, business strategy development, access to capital, and contract development.
“These businesses are an important part of our regional economy and unique culture, and we know they have often faced barriers in growing their businesses,” said Dana Johnson, senior director of diversity, equity and inclusion at GLI. “After all our community has endured in the past year, we are proud to be able to offer this opportunity to help ensure minority-entrepreneurs are empowered with the tools to expand their businesses.”
GLI’s Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator is a part of the NOW Louisville strategic plan, which outlines inclusion as one of six pillars of focus over the next five years. The program is funded through generous contributions from companies across the region who continue to commit to advancing racial equity within the region.
“The launch of this program highlights the Louisville business community’s commitment to pursuing and supporting racial equity in all forms,” said Condrad Daniels, president of HJI Supply Chain Solutions and Chair of the NOW Louisville Inclusion Pillar. “As we crafted this plan, we recognized GLI was uniquely positioned to address a specific need for minority-owned businesses in our community. This program will ensure continuity of resources for businesses throughout their development.”
This initiative is intended to work in coordination with existing community incubators and accelerators to address current gaps and ensure businesses and entrepreneurs at all stages have resources to grow.
Applications are open now through April 1. The program will accept 15-20 initial participants and is geared toward mid-sized minority-owned businesses with a minimum of $200,000 in annual revenue, and at least one non-owner employee on the payroll. After a deep dive into the makeup of businesses in the community, the original revenue threshold was lowered to $200,000 to allow broader participation for local businesses. Finalists will be asked to participate in an interview screening process before being accepted into the program. To learn more about GLI’s Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator and apply for the program, click here.