If you’re a minority business leader with great ideas who needs a little help getting those ideas off the ground, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce may have the perfect program for you.

The Greensboro Chamber has opened up applications for the second class of its minority business accelerator called Scale to Excel.

In Guilford County, there are a number of programs focused on helping minority entrepreneurs achieve success including this one, and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the second run of Scale to Excel – a minority business accelerator program that offers executive education, management, and business support systems for small businesses.

The program, which is being led by instructor Channelle James, is open to anyone who’s “CEO and/or a 51 percent owner of an ethnic minority-owned business.” 

It’s a joint effort between the national organization Interise, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and Accelerate Greensboro.

It uses Interise’s “StreetWise MBA curriculum” that’s used by more than 80 similar programs across the country – with, according to Interise, an average revenue growth rate of 36 percent for participating businesses, and four times the job creation rate compared to the private sector.

In the press release announcing the program’s new class, Bernard Johnson, the director of Scale to Excel, said this could be the big break some minority entrepreneurs are looking for. 

“Scale to Excel has proven to be a game changer for minority owned firms in the Greensboro area,” Johnson stated.  “The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Accelerator has created a program and model for businesses to have a pathway for success.  Interise is truly excited to partner with the Chamber and looks forward to the second cohort. The opportunities for local minority businesses to connect, build capacity, and to refine strategies are so critical to an inclusive localized economy.”

James, the instructor, is a faculty member in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNC Greensboro. She’s also the president and executive director of Community Ventures Inc., a non-profit startup focused on “creating social good in the City of Greensboro through entrepreneurship and social innovation.”

James has published articles and book chapters based on her research in sustainable/social entrepreneurship, diversity and “community support of entrepreneurship for vulnerable communities.”

Valued as an experience worth $10,000 by some accounts, participants in the program pay $199. The remainder of the cost is subsidized by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.

 Scholarships for the class will be made available on a limited basis.

Virtual information sessions for interested business owners will be held on Thursday, Jan. 6 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and on Monday, Jan. 10 from 4 p.m. to 5 pm. Registration is now open at greensboro.org/accelerategreensboro/scaletoexcel/. Applications are due by 5:00 pm on Saturday, January 22.