The Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator program recently graduated 2021 program participants and named its 2022 class.
The Minority Business Accelerator supports and scales high-potential minority-owned firms by providing targeted training, access to business coaches, and access to large corporations, according to a news release. 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 Greenville Chamber.
The program was recently adopted by the Columbia and Charleston chambers of commerce through a $500,000 grant from Bank of America.
Participants undergo intensive training for the first six months following the Interise StreetWise ‘MBA’ curriculum led by instructor Wendell Jones. Participants then work with financial experts, coaches and MBA peers on a three-year strategic growth action plan and how to implement what they learned over the last six months.
Since its inception, the program has graduated more than 120 participants and created 250 full-time jobs while participants have seen a combined $26 million in new revenue, according to the release.
During a Dec. 9 graduation ceremony, Summer Lee of Flying Biscuit Café was honored with the MBA Excellence Award; Scott Whelchel and Louise Connell, longtime supporters and volunteers with the program, received the MBA Champion Award; and the S.C. Small Business Development Corp. was recognized with the MBA Partner Award.
Graduates of the 2021 program include:
- Lee of Flying Biscuit Café
- Shameka Argo of Points of Origin LLC
- Willie Benjamin of Printing Opportunity
- Madeline Hawkins of Bloom Behavioral Therapy
- Michael Mance of Mance Multimedia LLC
- Dorothy Shain of Dorothy Shain Fine Art LLC
- Larandas Yeargin of Silo Media Group
The 2022 class will kick off their program in January:
- Ghisela Linette Eljach of InSouth Magazine LLC
- Laura Biggerstaff of Iron Elk LLC
- Tywana Groce of Precision Dental
- Bethany Winston of Kidding Around Media
- Ebony DeVonne Sullivan of Suagapiehoneybun LLC
- Jeffrey Shippy of JSA Investments LLC
- Kimbrelly Kegler of Kegler United LLC
- Lorenzo Bates of 360clean
- Jesse Canty of Smokin Wings & Things
- Porscha Davis of The Salon by Porscha Danielle