Business Development

The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator (MMBA) is a program of the Columbia Chamber in partnership with the South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator. The South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator is a statewide initiative formed by Greenville Chamber, Charleston Metro Chamber and the Columbia Chamber.

Funded with a seed grant from Bank of America, the initiative was designed to advance economic inclusion across the state of South Carolina by helping to reduce the economic disparities experienced by minority owned businesses. The initiative provides opportunities for economic growth and prosperity for high-potential minority owned firms. MMBA is a major economic development tool of the Columbia Chamber and is designed to make minority businesses more competitive.

MMBA’s mission is to help accelerate the development of high-potential minority business enterprises and strengthen and expand our regions minority entrepreneurial community.

MMBA Advisory Council
The MMBA Advisory Council provides strategic guidance to the program and its operating team.  Members of the Council serve as ambassadors of the program in the Midlands region. The Council provides advice on program structure and content that helps improve performance of participants in the program.

MBA Mentors & Coaches
Mentors and coaches are individuals that agree to work one-on-one with the CEO of an MMBA participant, to help them achieve a successful outcome through the MBA program. Typically, the assistance provided is centered on specific goals established by the participant in their three-year strategic growth plan developed during the first half of the program.

Interested in Becoming a Coach?
MMBA is successful due to the network of leaders it accesses. These coaches and mentors help lead participants to better decisions and offer real-world real-time solutions.

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MBA Curriculum

The Columbia Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator uses the award winning and internationally-recognized StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum created by Interise, to aid business owners in developing a three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan™, which is customized to their individual business and details the strategies and tactics the owner and staff will take to increase revenue, financial management and improve access to capital.

During the 12 Month MBA Program Participants Can Expect To Learn:

  • Business development strategies
  • Strategic planning
  • Financial management and analysis
  • Human resources
  • Accessing capital
  • Securing corporate and government contracts

Is MBA The Right Fit For You and Your Business?
Our ideal candidates are tired of the status quo and looking to gain the business knowledge, skills and trusted networks needed to successfully grow and guide their businesses.

What Are We Looking For?

  • Demonstrate ability to actively engage and successfully complete the program
  • Businesses beyond the start-up phase, looking to scale
  • Socially/Economically disadvantaged business (minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned)
  • Business must be headquartered or have a significant presence in the Midlands

Applications for Class of 2023 have closed. Applications for Class of 2024 will open in Fall 2023.

Meet the Interise Program Instructor

Wendell Jones has taken on various leadership and mentoring roles throughout his life as evident by his many ventures and accomplishments. He holds a degree in finance from Wofford College and is a distinguished member of Liberty Fellowships, South Carolina’s equivalent to Crown Fellows.

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To learn more about becoming a MBA participant, MBA Advisory Council member or MBA mentor, contact Naomi Walton by email or at (803) 733-1149.