Interise receives UEDA Award of Excellence for Talent and Innovation in Economic Development


Recognized as original, scalable, and sustainable solution by university economic development leaders

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – October 10, 2017Interise, the go-to partner with a proven model for accelerating small business growth in lower income communities, was presented with an Award of Excellence at the University Economic Development Association’s Annual (UEDA) Summit. Interise was selected as a best practice initiative in university-based economic development for its StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program, partnership model, and C3 initiative. 

Leading universities and organizations from across North America competed in a six-month process, including application, peer review, live presentations, and, ultimately, selection by attendees of the UEDA Annual Summit. Finalists were judged on the sustainability, replicability, originality, and impact of the program or initiative.

“This year’s Awards of Excellence winners exemplify the top initiatives in higher education economic development,” said Tim Hindes, UEDA Executive Director. “Leaders selected this year have achieved sustainable models that are making remarkable, positive impacts on regional economies across North America.”

Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program leads small business owners to scale and contribute to economic development, job creation, and the social resilience of their community. Partners license the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ to deliver it through their own locally branded programs. Interise has currently scaled the program to 45 states and 69 cities across North America.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized as the Award of Excellence winner for our contributions to building inclusive and equitable ecosystems for second-stage businesses,” said Jean Horstman, CEO of Interise. “In giving Interise the Award for Excellence, UEDA not only recognizes what Interise has achieved to date, but gives us the ‘seal of approval’ needed to garner the interest of other anchor partners we will need for our next stage of impact.”

In 2016, Interise launched its Capacity, Contracts, and Capital (C3) action-research initiative. Piloted in Boston, C3 convenes a cross-section of the local university procurement system – including capacity builders working with small businesses, university and hospital procurement and purchasing leaders, and traditional and non-profit lenders. C3 uses a systems-thinking approach to map the local procurement system and identify ways to structurally re-align the system to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

“As we move into our fourth phase of scaling, we are more intentionally leveraging the ability of the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ and our partners to catalyze equitable and inclusive ecosystems for second-stage businesses,” said Horstman.

In 2017, Interise also received the Collaborative Innovation Award from Suffolk University’s Center for Innovative Collaboration and Leadership in the category of non-profit “Innovation of the Year.” 

Interise’s 10 Years of Impact report will be available in November.

About Interise
Since 2006, Interise has been the go-to partner for inclusive economic development with a proven model for accelerating economic and small business growth to revitalize lower income communities. Its StreetWise 'MBA'™ capacity building program has provided 6,000+ small business owners with the business knowledge, management know-how, and (network) relationships they need to scale using a peer-based learning method. As alumni scale their businesses, they contribute to economic development, job creation, and resilience within their local community. These businesses historically create new jobs at 5x the rate of the private sector and are responsible for the creation of over 60,000 jobs. Interise currently offers the StreetWise ‘MBA’ in 69 cities through a network of partners, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, NYC Stern School of Business, The Cities of Houston, TX and Portland, OR, and the National Urban League. More information can be found at, @StreetWiseMBA, and at

About UEDA
Established in 1976, UEDA is North America’s membership organization that brings together public and private higher education; private sector; public agencies; and community economic development stakeholders in economic development. UEDA’s members work to expand economic opportunity and prosperity in our communities and regions by leveraging education / talent development; research and technology development; and community-building and place-making strategies. UEDA’s mission is to serve its members by advancing knowledge and practice in economic engagement by institutions of higher education.

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