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Business Development Curriculum Aimed at Minority and Women SMB Owners





Boston (PRESS RELEASE – June 24, 2010) – Interise announced that it has launched a licensing program for their award winning StreetWise Steps to Small Business Growth curriculum, used in small business executive education initiatives nationwide. The first licensee is the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) in partnership with New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation-(NYU).

New York City’s Strategic Steps for Growth program will bring a nine-month executive management program to 15 of the city’s minority and women-owned businesses. The first class kicks off tonight, June 22, at NYU. Interise launched the licensing model to scale its mission impact of creating jobs and generating wealth more efficiently in low to moderate-income communities.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to bring our curriculum and what we’ve learned to other cities, especially one as important to our national economy as New York City,” said Interise CEO Jean Horstman. “We are always looking for ways to scale our mission of job creation and economic revitalization. Licensing our educational resources to like-minded partners provides a great opportunity to reach even more small business owners that can benefit from this program, and from connecting with each other.”

“Through our partnership with Interise, the New York City Department of Small Business Services will be able to provide some of New York’s most promising M/WBEs with a training program that has a proven track record of success,” said SBS Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. “We look forward to seeing great results from this inaugural Strategic Steps for Growth class.”

The StreetWise Step curriculum was developed after an imbalance was identified in the amount of resources dedicated to supporting existing small businesses, those most likely to grow and create jobs, as opposed to aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups. The curriculum uses a facilitative and peer-based learning approach. Each participant uses his or her own business as a case study, allowing them to work on the business instead of in it. During the process, participants gain access to new markets, capital, networks and knowledge that enable growth. At the end of the training, each participant emerges with a three-year Strategic Growth Action PlanTM that acts as a roadmap for sustained growth.

“Interise believes that small, smart and connected is the new big. Our curriculum not only delivers knowledge, but also the connections and resources that entrepreneurs need for growth,” said Horstman.

The Interise approach is proven to foster small business growth and job creation. Between 2004 and 2008, 268 entrepreneurs completed the program with staggering results. Sixty-four percent of participants hired new employees, accounting for 275 new jobs. Fifty-nine percent of the businesses increased their revenues by an average of forty-seven percent. As a group they have secured over $23 million in new financing, and over $50 million in government contracts. In 2008, despite the credit freeze and economic crisis, Interise entrepreneurs accessed over $10 million in new financing by utilizing the skills they learned in the program.

“In the course of the recession the restaurant industry has really taken quite a beating, but one of the reasons why I’m able to hire people today is the Interise program. It allows business owners to better educate themselves about organizing their business,” said Chris Moy, Manager of Interstate Food Equipment Service, Inc.

For more information on licensing the StreetWise StepsTM curriculum, please contact Interise National at 617-350-6300 or e-mail info@interise.org.

About Interise

Interise stimulates economic revitalization in lower income urban communities by providing a diverse group of small business owners with entrepreneurial education, new networks, and access to markets. The Interise community creates jobs, grows businesses, and develops community leaders. Interise is based in Boston, Massachusetts and currently contracted as the national instructional provider for the Small Business Administration’s Emerging 200 (e200) initiative. For more information about Interise, please visit www.interise.org.

About the New York City Department of Small Business Services

The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information on all of SBS’ services go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.

About the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation was founded in 1984 at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business to create new knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation, to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders in the business and social sectors, and to provide intellectual leadership for the business and academic communities. For more information about Berkley Center programs and activities, visit stern.nyu.edu/berkley.

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