Boston program having an impact on small businesses

Tuition-free initiative now accepting applications!

BOSTON – Access to capital can be a major hurdle for small businesses, especially in America’s inner cities, where more than two-thirds of businesses are dramatically undercapitalized. The Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program, slated to take place on September 24 at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, will educate inner city companies on how to achieve sustainable growth, help them build capacity and coach them on successful strategies for connecting with capital providers.

“I am enormously excited that we will be able to offer this pioneering program to 100  inner city entrepreneurs who will grow to be the architects and builders of revitalized inner cities throughout the Commonwealth,” said ICIC CEO and former State Treasurer Steve Grossman. The Inner City Capital Connections program is part of ICIC, Initiative for Competitive Inner City.

We are bringing market-based solutions that help support real, tangible progress in urban communities and, in turn, the surrounding region,” said Harvard Business Professor and ICIC founder Dr. Michael E. Porter.

ICCC helped us expand our network by connecting us to a strong community of small business owners, seasoned capital providers, and renowned academics who possess a wealth of knowledge about the unique growth challenges we face. Our experience with ICCC has been invaluable and we are very excited for the upcoming Boston program,” said Owner Aileen Liu of HDM Systems Corporation in Allston, MA.

The inaugural Boston-based ICCC program is a signature initiative of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston’s Dudley Square. ICIC was founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter, who continues to serves as its chairman and is world-renowned for his expertise in business strategy and competitiveness. Participants will have exclusive access to a wide array of award-winning educators from leading institutions, as well as seasoned business coaches and capital providers.

The program will primarily serve as a way for Massachusetts small businesses, including those that are minority-, women-, and immigrant-owned, to learn how to create good-paying jobs in Boston and in Gateway Cities.

“Our program levels the playing field for small businesses located in urban distressed areas, including minority-, women-, and immigrant-owned businesses, in a major way. Participants gain access to a rich learning and sharing environment where they can work on their business challenges with the guidance of brilliant minds and seasoned professionals,” said ICCC Director Hyacinth Vassell.


During its first nine years, the over 800 businesses that completed the Inner City Capital Connections program raised $1.22 billion in capital and created 11,000 jobs, almost 60% of which are located in inner cities throughout the United States. Of these businesses, 74% are minority-owned and 34% are women owned.



To be eligible, a business must have revenues of  $1 million or more in 2014 and be headquartered in or have at least 40 percent of its employees reside within an economically-distressed urban area.


Businesses can apply at:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, acceptance becomes more competitive as seats are filled. To learn more, watch the ICCC promotional video: Promotional Video.


About Inner City Capital Connections:

The Inner City Capital Connections program (ICCC) is part of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC expands inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. Since ICCC’s inception, the program has helped over 800 small business participants raise $1.22 billion and create 11,000 local jobs.

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One Comment

  1. Immigrants and minorities are now a major force in America. They and the children they bear account for 60 percent of our nation’s population growth, own 11 percent of US businesses, and are 60 percent more likely to start a new business than native-born Americans. In fact, forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant, creating 10 million jobs and seven out of ten top brands in our country.
    More importantly, the vast majority—both legal and undocumented—come to improve their lives and create a foundation of success for their children to build upon, bringing skills and a willingness to work hard to make their dreams a reality, something our founders did four hundred years ago.
    However, most struggle in their efforts and need guidance in Anytown, USA. Perhaps intelligent immigration reform, White House/Congress and business/labor cooperation, concerned citizens and informative books can extend a helping hand, the same unwavering hand, lest we forget, that has been the anchor and lighthouse of American values for four hundred years.
    One such book is a new award-winning worldwide book/ebook that aids immigrants and minorities and is endorsed by ambassadors, educators, and editors: “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.”
    Here’s a closing quote from the book’s Intro: “With all of our cultural differences though, you’ll be surprised to learn how much…we as human beings have in common on this little third rock from the sun. After all, the song played at our Disneyland parks around the world is ‘It’s A Small World After All.’ Peace.”

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