Nearly 2,000 business owners in over 40 communities have used our curriculum to grow their businesses.

The Interise StreetWise 'MBA'™

It all started in 2004 with fourteen small business owners drawn from Boston’s urban neighborhoods.   


“It’s a combination of an actual educational program where there’s course work, and networking that goes on around small businesses and local business organizations. That’s a powerful blend of ingredients Interise brings to the table.”

 Alex Whitmore, Co-Founder, Taza Chocolate

The StreetWise ‘MBA’™ is a nine-month program. Participants typically meet bi-weekly in small classes. The program is designed to combine the best of classroom learning with real-world case studies, including the one most important to you: your own business. Industry experts, business peers, and instructors provide insights, strategies, motivation, and accountability. It’s an interactive format, where you get the tools, know-how, and confidence to take the next step.

At the end of the program, you graduate with a certificate in Small Business Entrepreneurship from Boston University's Entrepreneurial Management Institute, and you have a road map for the future: a three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan™ that outlines your business goals and the specific action steps necessary to achieve them.


We currently offer the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ in communities across Massachusetts, including greater Boston, Lowell, Haverhill, Lawrence, and Worcester. Support from the Garfield Foundation will bring our StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program to the South Coast region in 2012.

Contact us for more information.

Entrepreneur Support and Benefits

The StreetWise ‘MBA’™ is an intensive, thought-provoking nine months—but what comes after?

Because many of our entrepreneurs lack access to the kinds of networks that make growth possible, the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ also includes access to professional networks, business and personal development events and opportunities, and seminars.

The Private Sector Network (PSN) is Interise’s “instant rolodex” of volunteer business experts.  These bankers, lawyers, and other professionals donate their services pro-bono to our entrepreneurs, offering their expertise and strategic guidance as members prepare to grow their businesses. All Interise entrepreneurs receive a PSN directory and are encouraged to reach out to PSN members as they engage with their business goals. Sometimes network members offer advice on specific issues; at other points they may provide coaching or a second opinion.

The StreetWise 'MBA' Network encompasses our community of entrepreneurs—the peers who know what you’re going through and are on similar trajectories of planning and growth. By working and collaborating with other business owners, you are able to tap into valuable peer expertise and feedback. Upon enrolling, you gain access to our network of businesses and resource partners.

In addition, you can attend Interise workshops and seminars; sign up for a CEO mentor,  sit on growth plan presentation panels; and offer feedback and suggestions to the entrepreneurs.

Partnership Programs

See how others have brought the curriculum to their community:

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) selected Interise as the national instructional provider for the Emerging Leaders (e200) Initiative, bringing the StreetWise Steps™ curriculum (part of the StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum) to over 900 business owners in 27 communities nationally.
  • Our second licensing partner, the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, has delivered the curriculum through their Urban Power to Prosper program since 2011.

For more information on bringing StreetWise 'MBA'™ to your community, contact Bernard Johnson at

Licensing package



StreetWise Steps to Small Business Growth™ curriculum manuals and toolkits



Marketing and recruitment strategies and templates



Quality assurance



Peer learning network



Local logistics