Chelsea-based Metro Credit Union has partnered with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City to sponsor a virtual educational program offered in Spanish for Latino small business owners.
Called “Inner City Capital Connections,” the nationwide program is a free, 40-hour “mini-MBA” that includes executive education, webinars and coaching from university professors and business experts, the Boston-based ICIC and Metro Credit Union said in a joint statement.
“Thriving small businesses are essential to a healthy community,” Robert Cashman, Metro Credit Union president and CEO, said in the statement. “Metro is pleased to offer our support for the ICCC program and its participants. The education each participant receives will assist in growing a healthy small business community. As a Juntos Avanzamos designated credit union, showing our support to the Latinx community through this program was a natural fit.”
ICIC has offered the ICCC small business program since 2015, helping more than 5,000 businesses access $2.35 billion in capital and create more than 23,600 jobs in their communities, the statement said. The program last year had participants from 1,200 businesses in 21 markets.
“The ICCC program is designed to help small businesses located in underserved communities, particularly those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, to develop strategies that build their capacity for sustainable growth and present opportunities to connect with capital sources to create jobs locally,” the statement said.
The upcoming program, which begins in October, will be the first hosted entirely in Spanish, the statement said, noting that it will address “the unique experience and challenges faced by Latinx business owners.”
“ICIC recognizes the vitality and extraordinary potential of Latinx entrepreneurs both in Massachusetts and nationwide and has created this inaugural cohort to help accelerate their growth and profitability,” ICIC CEO Steve Grossman said in the statement. “We’re particularly grateful to Metro Credit Union which shares these urgent priorities, is committed to closing the racial wealth gap, and has invested generously to make this pioneering initiative possible.”
The program will end with a national conference focused on building strategies and connecting participants with capital providers.