Proven Model for Inclusive Economic Development | 10-Year Series


Small business owners in low- and moderate-income communities and/or from historically disadvantaged social and economic groups often lack the business knowledge and management know-how necessary for second-stage growth. Additionally, they are often excluded from the networks that comprise the larger business ecosystems, including financing and procurement. To catalyze a more inclusive and equitable small business ecosystem, Interise developed the StreetWise 'MBA'™.

According to Intersise's 10-Year Report, companies that successfully completed a StreetWise 'MBA'™ program outperformed the private sector as a whole, consistently achieving net new job growth in both boom and lean economic years. Even in the Great Recession, Interise businesses continued to create jobs.

Great Recession Graph

Interise stimulates economic revitalization in low- and moderate-income communities through job creation, wealth generation, and the fostering of community leadership. We do this by building the organizational capacity of established, growth-oriented businesses — those beyond the start-up stage — enabling them to continue to grow. Interise's capacity building program, the StreetWise 'MBA'™, uses a peer-based model that provides small business owners with the knowledge, know-how, and relationships they need to achieve scale. Interise focuses on small businesses located in low- and moderate-income communities and/or owned by racial and ethnic minorities.

Key findings from Interise's 10-Year Report show that capacity building support has large, positive effects on job creation and business health; gains in employment, revenue growth, and access to capital are persistent over time; underlying the gains in employment and business health are positive changes in the behaviors of small business owners. 

We find that job growth rates are higher for Latino- and black-owned businesses relative to other alumni segments. As seen in Figure 2 below, taken from the report, the network as a whole has high job growth rates in the first two years following graduation from a StreetWise 'MBA' program; this growth continues, but at a slower pace in the third year. In contrast, Latino-owned businesses have a dramatic increase in the second year, and higher than average growth in the third year. Patterns also differ between black-owned and white-owned businesses (Figure 3). 

Job Creation Rates

Business growth is consistent across alumni segments: Interise alumni generate wealth by growing revenues. On average, alumni businesses experienced revenue growth of 7.5 percent per year. Minority-owned businesses, as well as those located in low- to moderate-income communities experienced similar trends of consistent, positive revenue growth over time, as shown in Table 5 from Interise's 10-Year Impact Report.

Revenue Growth Rates

Check out Interise's 10-Year Report below to further explore the role of two factors on business outcomes: the income-level of the area in which businesses are located, and the race and ethnicity of the business owner.   

Report Cover

Download the Report