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A look at 3 minority business mentoring programs

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News,Business

A look at minority business mentoring programs, called accelerators, in three metropolitan areas. All the programs aim to help already established companies owned by minorities win contracts with large companies and organizations. The goal is for them to expand and hire more workers, helping the local economy.

CINCINNATI MINORITY BUSINESS ACCELERATOR

Founded: 2003 by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

Current number of companies: 35

Who's eligible: Companies that are least 51 percent minority-owned, with at least $1 million in annual revenue.

How long do companies stay: No time limit.

Big companies/organizations that participate: Macy's, Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Cincinnati Reds, Duke Energy, Toyota and 32 others.

Geographic area: The Cincinnati metropolitan area, including 15 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. 

CHARLOTTE, N.C., MINORITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

Founded: 2011 by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council.

Current number of companies: 19

Who's eligible: Companies that are at least 51 percent minority owned, with at least $500,000 in revenue.

How long do companies stay: maximum of 4½ years

Big companies/organizations that participate: Bank of America, Duke Energy, Lowe's, Wells Fargo and 11 others.

Geographic area: Greater Charlotte and surrounding areas.

GREENVILE, S.C., MINORITY BUSINESS ACCELERATOR

Founded: 2013 by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce

Current number of companies: 16

Who's eligible: Companies that are at least 51 percent minority-owned, in business for at least three years, with between $1 million and $5 million in revenue.

How long do companies stay: No time limit.

Big companies/organizations that participate: Because program is so new, companies are still being signed up.

Geographic area: 10 counties in northern South Carolina.

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