Our History

Interise is grounded on two key findings from Boston University research on economic revitalization: 1) only when entrepreneurs build successful businesses can they significantly give back to their communities; and 2) small business programs prioritize supporting start-ups, providing few resources for existing businesses. We determined that supporting existing businesses was the most effective strategy for promoting job and wealth creation in lower income areas.

Our first course was delivered in 2004 through Interise’s signature StreetWise 'MBA’™ program. Our inaugural program was held in Boston and 14 urban small business owners, drawn from Boston’s lower-income communities, participated. We gathered key learnings and data from that inaugural program and brought in subject matter experts to create our StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum.

Between 2004 and 2008, our experience delivering the curriculum directly helped us identify the processes and systems needed to scale our model effectively.

Since 2004, we’ve successfully scaled our mission impact by offering our StreetWise 'MBA’™ at additional program sites throughout Massachusetts, and by offering the StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum through various partners nationwide.

By the end of 2010, we reached nearly 800 entrepreneurs. By the end of 2011, we impacted over 1,100 entrepreneurs, and by the end of 2013 we’ll be serving approximately 1,000 entrepreneurs per year.

 To learn more about visit our impact page and check out our most recent impact report data.

Interise Through the Years

2004The first Interise direct delivery program, StreetWise 'MBA'™, is launched in Boston, enrolling 14 urban small business entrepreneurs. 
2007 Interise launches its first StreetWise 'MBA’™ program of 11 entrepreneurs in Worcester.
 2008The first Interise business plan is written and adopted by the Board of Directors. 
 The StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum is written and completed. 
 Due to high demand, Interise adds a second StreetWise 'MBA'™ program in Boston, almost doubling the size of its greater Boston program. 
 Interise was named an Innovation Award winner by the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) in the first year that non-profits could compete in their own category. 
 Interise won a competitive bidding process to become the national training provider for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) e200 Initiative. This brought Interise's signature  curriculum to ten cities around the country, including: Albuquerque; Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Des Moines; Memphis; Milwaukee; New Orleans; and Philadelphia. 
 2009Interise launches our first StreetWise 'MBA'™ program in Lowell, part of the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts. 
 Interise launches our first statewide StreetWise 'MBA' program in Eastern Massachusetts. 
 The SBA e200 initiative is renewed and expanded to include five new cities: Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, FL, and Portland, OR. 
 In the fall of 2009, the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) launched the DBE SS program in Massachusetts, incorporating Interise's StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum. This program was made possible through partnerships with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), and Turner Construction. 
 2010The SBA e200 initiative is renewed for 22 cities nationwide, including 12 communities with a focus on Native American business owners. 
 In the spring of 2010, the New York City Department of Small Businesses Services (SBS) becomes Interise's first curriculum licensee. Their executive management training program, Strategic Steps for Growth, incorporates Interise's StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum. 
 Interise launches the StreetWise 'MBA'™ program in Haverhill/Lawrence, Massachusetts 

The second Interise business plan is written and adopted by the Board of Directors.