Interise, a national non-profit organization based in Boston, has partnered with the Urban Leagues in Springfield and Eastern Massachusetts to launch the NextStage Minority Business Entrepreneur Academy and NextStage Accelerator. The programs aim to provide minority-owned small businesses with the knowledge, know-how, and networks they need to grow and scale their businesses, with an emphasis on preparing for procurement. The StreetWise MBA curriculum, a successful program from Interise, will be used.
The NextStage Minority Business Entrepreneur Academy and NextStage Accelerator will be funded through a $3 million allotment of the Federal American Relief Plan Act in spending bills signed by former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. The program will be offered federally, with a focus on Gateway City. The first cohorts began in April, with subsequent cohorts also starting in Pittsfield, Fall River, New Bedford, Lynn, and Springfield in the coming weeks. The program will also launch in Boston and Brockton later this year.
Historically, Interise companies that completed similar programs were highly successful in procuring contracts, achieving an average revenue increase of 36% and job creation rates four times higher than in the private sector. By helping BIPOC-owned small businesses secure government and business contracts, the programs aim to create a more inclusive economy for Massachusetts, which represents over $3 trillion.
Interise’s partnership with Urban Leagues in Springfield and Eastern Massachusetts is an important initiative for helping minority-owned small businesses in the region. Interise has historically contributed to inclusive economic development through national research on the growth of established small businesses and award-winning business development programs. As Interise companies grow, they contribute to local job creation and the wealth-building of local communities.