Congratulations to the StreetWise MBA Graduating Class of 2018

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1,500+ small business owners graduate this year from programs powered by Interise's StreetWise 'MBA'™. Graduation events are occurring in 69 cities nationwide. Interise staff are on hand, collecting stories from graduating business owners. What we are hearing: The StreetWise 'MBA' is immediately useful and delivers immediate impact.Congratulations to the business owners graduating from the programs powered by Interise’s Streetwise ‘MBA’! We recognize your accomplishments and applaud you for taking a step back to develop a three-year growth plan for your businesses. While this year’s participants attend graduation ceremonies in cities across the country, we commend these business owners for their achievements throughout the class.

Interise business owners frequently leverage contracting opportunities for small business growth. In Tampa, Les Allen, whose construction and energy operations business was on hiatus before he joined the Emerging Leaders class, gained a new contract to expand his business into Texas. In the past 2 months, Fargo’s RJ Energy Solutions has secured close to $700,000 worth of new business in the HVAC services industry, including a regional contract with over 40 KFC locations, and more recently, a HVAC retrofit project in a major metropolitan area.

In 2017, Interise businesses secured $862,780,000 in procurement opportunities.

In addition to securing new funding and contracting opportunities, business owners were able to successfully hire new employees for their businesses. In Seattle, Carey Goldberg of Seattle Therapy Networks and Rebecca Petris of the Dry Eye Company successfully expanded their teams by hiring 2 new employees each. Not only were they able to hire new people, they were also encouraged to shift their thinking around what expansion really means for their businesses.

These new hires further corroborate Interise’s findings that Interise businesses create jobs at 9x the rate of the private sector.

The business owners below have each been individually recognized for their contributions to economic development in their respective cities:

Calley Hastings

Calley Hastings

Calley Hastings of the Fat Toad Farms was awarded the Vermont SBA Family-Owned Business of the Year.
Steve Gagner

Steve Gagner

Steve Gagner of the 14th Star Brewing Company was selected as the first ever Reboot Camp Entrepreneur of the Year by the Military Times.
Sarah DeGray

Sarah DeGray

Sarah Degray's business, REV Indoor Cycling, was selected as a “Rising Star” by Vermont Business Magazine.
Nicole Carey

Nicole Carey

Nicole Carey of the Birdfolk Collective was selected as the Vermont SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Cassaundra Sims

Cassaundra Sims

Cassaundra Sims of the Universal Solutions Management recieved the 2018 Salute to Diversity in Leadership Award by Corp! Magazine.

Congratulations again to all the business owners graduating from this year’s Emerging Leaders classes! You are the pillars of the local economy - and now you’re powered by Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’. Watch out!

Interise staff tour the country to attend StreetWise 'MBA' Graduations: Stories of high impact

1,500+ small business owners graduate this year from programs powered by Interise's StreetWise 'MBA'. Graduation events are occurring in 69 cities nationwide. Interise staff are on hand, collecting stories from graduating business owners. What we are hearing: The StreetWise 'MBA' is immediately useful and delivers immediate impact. #ImpactMatters

See what happens when companies take the StreetWise 'MBA':

Memphis, TN

Memphis, TN

Immediate results! In Memphis, there is already a joint venture between two graduating companies; two other companies are awaiting award notices on RFPs with state and city governments. One company is now doing business internationally, and another has recently added 45 new locations for janitorial services!
Mobile, AL

Mobile, AL

Graduate Mary Beth Greene of mb greene, llc was featured on Good Morning America for her hand bags. One graduate's average sale had been around $5K; now is $56K as a direct result of perfecting her pitch! Another graduate's 37 year-old business is projected to grow from 400K to $1M by middle of next year because he now understand his target demographic as well as his industry ratios.

Photos from the Road... #StreetWiseMBA

Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn, NY

Manchester, NH

Manchester, NH

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, UT

Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ

Denver, CO

Denver, CO

New York, NY

New York, NY

Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA

New York, NY

New York, NY

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, NC

Bronx, NY

Bronx, NY

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Memphis, TN

Memphis, TN

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

Mobile, AL

Mobile, AL

Weekly Reads: July 10 - July 14

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Interise's StreetWise 'MBA' is a catalyst for the development of local, inclusive and equitable small business ecosystems. Here below are articles that discuss additional factors co-contributing to shape small business ecosystems.

Five Cities Receive Half-a-Million-Dollar Grants to Boost Spending with Black Businesses

"As part of an expanded City Accelerator program, Charlotte, Chicago, Memphis, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles will each get $100,000 to boost procurement spending with those businesses. During the next year, the five cities will work together to refine their approach for that activity, including pursuing at least one new strategy to increase the diversity of municipal vendors and contractors and direct buying more goods and services from local minority-owned firms."

 
Bloomberg.org


Unleashing the job-creating potential of the American entrepreneur
next city

Idaho’s Republican Senator Jim Risch, chairman of Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, presents what he sees is needed most for America's small businesses: "real regulatory relief." He has introduced two bills bills to give the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration (SBA) "the authority it needs to hold the government accountable for how their actions impact small businesses."

 


Why more jobs and degrees won’t reduce poverty

Boston Globe columnist Evan Horowitz challenges the notion that more jobs and higher levels of education will reduce poverty. "When it comes to fighting poverty, we may have hit a wall," he argues. "But as with so many policy issues — including health care and electoral reforms — the main reason the United States can’t move forward is that it eschews the solutions global peers already have developed and tested."

 
City lab


6 ways states are creating small business hot spots — and jobs
CityLab

CNBC reports on six key factors that make states attractive to small business, according to experts and entrepreneurs.

 


What Small Retailers Can Learn From Amazon Prime Day

With Amazon Prime Day in the rearview mirror, what lessons can small business take away from this mid-summer sales event? This article extracts these lessons: how to build loyalty, increase purchase frequency, increase purchase amount, and acquire new customers.

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5 cities that offer strong environments for self-employment
Entrepreneur

According to a recent Intuit study, nearly 40 percent of the workforce will be "contingent workers" by 2020. The author of this article looked at invoice income from more than 10,000 self-employed individuals and small businesses in the United States over a 12-month period, as well as American City Business Journals research to determine "what cities (or greater metropolitan areas) in the United States are best suited to support a self-employed workforce."

 


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Weekly Reads: July 3 - July 7

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Many articles this week on small business ecosystems, and the innovations that are driving inclusive growth. Congrats to Interise partner NYC Small Business Services on the seventh year of their Strategic Steps for Growth program. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but this is one big step towards a more equitable, prosperous future,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Seven years in, city reveals results of MWBE program

Minority and women business owners have earned $93.5 million in contracts with the help of Steps for Growth, a capacity building program powered by Interise's StreetWise 'MBA' curriculum, delivered by NYC's Department of Small Business Services. About 100 participants have graduated from the program since 2010. Twelve new alumni joined that cohort this month.

“Small businesses are big job creators, and we are here to help them grow,” said Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “Many entrepreneurs haven’t received formal business education, and we’re connecting them with a way to expand their knowledge and skills."

 
Bloomberg.org


NYC Small Business Owners Have a New Money Matchmaker
next city

""New York City entrepreneurs have an online platform, called NYC Local Lending, that helps to make a good CDFI match. A 15-question form at LocalLending.nyc helps direct small businesses to one of the three CDFIs that collaborated on the platform: Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), Accion East, and Renaissance Economic Development Corporation."

 


How Mayors Drive Inclusive Growth

U.S. Mayors and the Brookings Institution are drawing insight from a new model of growth emerging from cities. At last month's U.S. Conference of Mayors, Brookings released a handbook with strategies for mayors to leverage "innovation districts" to spur inclusive growth.

"Most innovation districts grew organically through collaboration between research institutions, companies, and intermediaries. Yet mayors from Boston to Barcelona have shown that mayors can play powerful roles in advancing these dynamic hubs of innovation."

 
City lab


Why So Many Small Businesses Are Selling on Amazon
CityLab

This article from Inc provides data on how Amazon is performing as an e-commerce company and why "73% of small business owners are considering selling on Amazon in 2017."

 


June Jobs Report

“The economy added a seasonally adjusted 222,000 jobs in June, the largest increase since February, and stronger than what economists expected. Meanwhile, revisions showed job growth was better in April and May than previously thought. The economy has created an average of 194,000 jobs over the past three months. That compares favorably to a monthly average of 166,000 during the first quarter, and a pace of 187,000 for all of last year."

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When It Comes to Skills and Talent, Size Matters
Entrepreneur

Richard Florida explores a shift in the economy, "where the larger cities with big pools of high skilled talent garner extreme concentrations of industries and occupations. This drives our new 'winner-take-all' urbanism and the rising geographic inequality of winner and loser cities and metros we see today."

 


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Weekly Reads: June 26 - June 30

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We've spent this week reflecting on the inspiring conversations we had at the 85th Annual US Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach, Florida last week, where Interise CEO Jean Horstman presented Friday morning to the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City. This week's reads feature articles that continue those conversations, from supporting American innovation and entrepreneurship to creating more inclusive and equitable economies. Read more below and engage in these topics important to mayors and cities across the country!

Michael R. Bloomberg Announces $200 Million American Cities Initiative to Help U.S. Cities Innovate, Solve Problems, and Work Together in New Ways

At the end of the US Conference of Mayors last week, Michael Bloomberg announced the American Cities Initiative, "a suite of new and expanded investments that will empower cities to generate innovation and advance policy that moves the nation forward". In the next 3 years, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the arm of Bloomberg that is funding the initiative, will give $200 million in grants to empower cities, promote innovative solutions to problems, and advancing policy and legislation around empowerment and these solutions.

 
Bloomberg.org


The First Principle for Anchor Institutions: Hire Your Neighbors
atlantic

This year, the City of Newark, NJ launched the "Hire. Buy. Live." initiative, partnering with Interise partner Prudential and other anchors around the city to provide 2,020 jobs for the unemployed by 2020.Many Newark residents struggle to find a good job in the city, forcing them to commute long distances. The article features several success stories from this initiative, connecting residents with better jobs closer to home, allowing them to spend more time with their families and less money on the commute.

 


American Innovation and Entrepreneurship Big Winners at Walmart 4th Annual U.S. Manufacturing Open Call

“Walmart’s continued commitment to growing U.S. manufacturing should be applauded. Strong manufacturing supports a strong America through the creation of American jobs. Walmart’s Open Call gives innovators unparalleled access to the world’s largest retailer.”

This week was Walmart's Manufacturing Open Call, bringing in over 500 businesses to show off their products in the hopes of having their products offered online and in stores. The initiative promotes products manufactured by American businesses and spans all categories of products.

 
Business-Wire-logo


One Key to a Rust Belt Comeback: Job Hubs
CityLab

"People spend more time and money commuting, businesses struggle to fill open positions, air quality declines as emissions grow, and the fiscal health of municipalities suffers as taxpayers have to simultaneously support the costs of legacy infrastructure and new development."

The Rust Belt has been a large economic and political focus lately, especially regarding job growth and retainment in these cities. City Lab argues that for these cities to be revived, they must become job hubs, shortening the physical distance between residents and employment.

 


These Boston Apprenticeships Are Pushing the Economy Toward Equity

“If you want to build a great city, you have to make sure that everyone has a chance to thrive. That’s why the mayor has made it a priority that no one gets left behind as the city grows.”

During his tenure, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has created several workforce training programs to bring job opportunities to the unemployed and underemployed residents in the city, connecting them to union trade jobs. Mayor Walsh hopes these programs will create a more inclusive economy in Boston.

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The Top Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneur

Expert Market recently released a report on the top cities for minority entrepreneurs across the nation, with Interise partner city Houston at the top of the list. The report weighed a variety of factors, including funding access for minorities, the number of MBEs, the rate of new entrepreneurs, and the opportunity share for new entrepreneurs. Houston ranks 4th for economic opportunities for minorities, 5th for number of MBEs, and 5th for the rate of new entrepreneurs.

 


Building Inclusive Economies: Amy Liu's Speech at Michigan’s Mackinac Policy Conference

"Inclusive economies, as I defined them, are ones that maximize the participation of people, places, and businesses in economic growth, enabling people to be creators of opportunity, not just beneficiaries of growth."

Amy Liu, of Brookings, recently gave the keynote speech at Michigan's Mackinac Policy Conference on creating an inclusive economy in today's disruptive system. She uses Michigan as an example to highlight the importance of quality job growth, wage gains, and not being satisfied with overall economic improvements.

 brookings


When To Open A Second Location To Grow Your Small Business
forbes.com-logo-vector

"Many business owners question whether it's time to open another location, wondering if they're creating new opportunities or spreading themselves too thin."

This Forbes article takes stories and insights from several business owners to create 5 criteria to weight when thinking about expanding your business. These 5 conditions helped these businesses capitalize on the right opportunity to open a second location.

 
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