Interise stimulates economic growth in lower income communities by helping established small business owners grow and expand their businesses. Our evidence-based model provides small business owners with:
1 A hands-on small business executive education curriculum
2 A professional support network of small business owner peers and mentors
3 A community of peers who learn together, inspire one another, and hold each other accountable.
Our model leads to change at the individual, small business, and community level. At the individual level, small business owners work together to acquire the knowledge, behaviors, and connections to grow their business and create jobs. In addition to supporting business owners in creating a roadmap for growth, we build their capacity to do business with large institutions and government through contracts and procurement, thus connecting the three major engines of growth and employment at the community level.
As a result, small businesses have increased profitability, expanded their capacity to retain and create local employment, and are better connected to other businesses, institutions, and government at the local, regional, and national levels. Moreover, successful small business owners are able to take up other community leadership roles. Taken together, these changes build stronger and more economically resilient communities, with an expanded pool of community leaders and local integration to regional and national markets.
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 over 1,100 entrepreneurs per year.