The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce has announced a new partnership that it believes will invigorate a local program meant to grow minority-owned businesses in the area.

The chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) is partnering with Launch Greensboro – a chamber program that supports local entrepreneurs – and with the national organization Interise, in order to help minority-owned businesses accelerate their growth.

Interise is a national economic development nonprofit organization.

The new program will use Interise’s “StreetWise MBA curriculum,” which chamber leaders say is a proven model that’s been used by more than 80 organizations across the country. That curriculum, which should be available through the Greensboro Chamber in early 2021, uses “a peer learning method to provide business owners with the knowledge, know-how and networks necessary to grow and scale.”

Niketa Greene, the chamber’s newly named vice president for leadership, diversity and inclusion, will head up the effort.

According to a press release from the chamber, the program is designed for local minority business owners who are trying to move their businesses up to the next level.

“We already have a solid networking component built into the MBA program,” Greene stated in that release. “This addition provides a proven educational component to our existing success model. With this, we can further help our companies build their capacity for growth while connecting with potential partners.”

At the end of the program, chamber officials say, participants will walk away with “a vetted business-specific strategic growth action plan outlining the steps required to achieve their goals.”

Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christensen said the StreetWise MBA program “builds a business owner’s capacity to manage and proactively respond to crisis.”

Christensen added that, as the economy picks up and businesses reopen from the pandemic, the chamber wants to make sure these businesses have all the tools they need to “not only survive but to thrive in a post-pandemic economy.”

The Greensboro Chamber plans to offer the program – valued in excess of $15,000 per participant – for free to participants using the support of community sponsors.

Partnering on the project is also Launch Greensboro, the entrepreneurial arm of the chamber that offers business accelerator programs.

Chambers of Commerce officials across the country, when they announce collaborative programs of any type, almost always include the word “synergy,” however, strangely, the chamber made this announcement without using that word.