The St. Louis Regional Chamber has partnered with Regions Bank and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to launch the Inner City Capital Connections Program (ICCC). Launched in 2005 to help inner city business owners overcome the challenges of small business development, the program positions small businesses for immediate and long term growth through executive education, personalized business coaching, networking and access to growth capital.
The brainchild of world-renowned Harvard business professor Dr. Michael Porter, ICCC is a highly selective, Harvard-based business education program. Since its beginning ICCC has helped 837 different businesses raise over $1.32 billion in capital and create over 11,000 jobs in inner cities. On average, 68% of participating businesses are minority owned and 37% are women owned.
ICCC is cost-free and geared toward businesses that are growth oriented and have a presence in urban or economically underserved areas. The program is divided into four parts and amounts to roughly 40 hours of learning for local entrepreneurs. These stages are conducted in-person and online with small business bankers acting as coaches for each business owner. To qualify, a business must have at least $2 million in annual revenues, however, an entrepreneur can forego the annual revenue requirement by being nominated by another person or business.
Individuals and businesses are encouraged to nominate local entrepreneurs that they feel would benefit from this incredible program. Nominations may be submitted here and will be accepted until July 1st. For businesses who wish to apply themselves, applications may be submitted here. The program will begin September 29th at Washington University and is free of charge to all those attending.
For more information on ICCC and its launch, please see the news coverage here or here, or by visiting the ICCC website.