What is the Minority Business Empowerment Program (MBEP)?

The MBEP is a specialized, 12-week virtual and in-person program designed to provide tailored business technical assistance and funding readiness. The program empowers minority-owned businesses through training, resources, and networking opportunities with a focus on enhanced business acumen, growth, and success in their respective industries.

Who is eligible to participate in the program?

Consistent with the mission of the program, it is focused on businesses owned by individuals who identify as Black or African American or Hispanic/Latino and that have a funding need to grow, scale, or stabilize.

Additional eligibility requirements are follows:

  • Willing to commit to 2 hrs./week for 12 weeks
  • Gross Annual Revenue Size (≥ $100,000 & ≤ $1,000,000)
  • Business is at a critical juncture (e.g.: looking to seek diverse funding, hire employees, expand operations, open new locations, etc.)
  • Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Size (≥ 1.5)

Some exceptions to this general criteria will be considered for the program. So even if you don’t meet some or all of the qualifications listed above, you are still encouraged to apply!

What does the program include?

The program includes a combination of group learning sessions where participants can learn from experts and peers, as well as personalized one-on-one counseling sessions tailored to each business’ specific needs. To offer a modern, inclusive, flexible, and efficient approach to supporting minority entrepreneurs and fostering economic empowerment, the program will be primarily delivered in a virtual format coupled with some in-person networking and educational events.

How many participants will be accepted into the program?

Two cohorts will be selected for the Minority Business Empowerment Program annually, each with 30 slots available for entrepreneurs that meet eligibility criteria.

How long is the program ?

The program participants should allocate a full 12 weeks for the program to ensure ample time to implement the knowledge and skills acquired during the program.

What topics are covered in the group learning sessions ?

The curriculum will be specifically developed based on the assessed needs of each cohort and will be developed focusing on the following seven key essential business disciplines: Financial Management & Accounting, Sales & Operations, Human Resources, Marketing & Communications, Management & Leadership, Business Growth Strategies, and Digital Technology Integration.

How are the one-on-one counseling sessions structured ?

The one-on-one counseling sessions are personalized to address the unique challenges and goals specific to each participating business. Experienced mentors will provide guidance and support to help businesses overcome specific obstacles and best achieve their strategic objectives.

Is there a cost to participate in the MBEP ?

The program is offered at no cost to eligible participants thanks to our generous corporate partners and impact funders. However, the execution of strategic suggestions and support offered by the program experts may have fiscal requirements outside of the cost of the program.

How can I apply for the MBEP ?

Eligible businesses can apply for the program by clicking here and completing the online application form. Before completing the form, you will need information about your business that includes: Full Legal Business Name, Business Description, Annual Revenue Size, Number of Employees, Employer Identification Number, Business Industry, Funding Goals, Certifications, Contact Information, Ownership Information, Social Media Presence, and other related information.

Will there be any networking opportunities during the program ?

Yes, the MBEP includes networking events and opportunities for participants to connect with fellow minority-owned businesses, potential collaborators, mentors, business professionals, and future clients and customers.

What are the expected outcomes of participating in the MBEP ?

Participating in the MBEP provides each participant benefits and outcomes that are unique to that participant. However, the MBEP expects growth, sustainability, and success of the cohort participants in the form of: increased funding readiness, increased access to diverse funding sources, increased opportunity for business revenues, and improved financial resiliencies.

How can I stay engaged with the program after completing the cohort ?

Cohort participants who successfully complete all program requirements are encouraged to stay connected by becoming part of our empowered entrepreneurs business directory, attending future events, and being a resource for new program participants.