January 26, 2022

Midlands Minority Business Accelerator Announces 2022 Cohort

The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator, a program of the Columbia Chamber, is pleased to announce eight businesses that were selected to take part in the inaugural year of the program.

“The Columbia Chamber is excited to launch the Minority Business Accelerator program to help grow businesses in our region. We are delighted to have such a strong inaugural class and look forward to witnessing their success,” said Jean Cecil Frick, Chamber Board of Directors Chair.

The Minority Business Accelerator supports and scales high-potential minority-owned firms by providing targeted training, access to business coaches, and access to large corporations. Participants undergo intensive training for the first six months following the internationally-recognized Interise StreetWise ‘MBA’ curriculum led by instructor Wendell Jones. Then, participants work closely with financial experts, coaches, and MBA peers on their three-year Strategic Growth Action Plans and implementation of learnings for the last six months.

“As an alumna of the Interise StreetWise curriculum, I am excited to see this program coming to the Columbia area,” said Karen Jenkins, Midlands Minority Business Accelerator Advisory Council Chair. “I’ve longed to see other small businesses in our community benefit as my business has from the MBA program. The overall impact to the participants and our community will be felt for years to come.”

To qualify, businesses must be based in the Midlands, socially or economically disadvantaged (minority, veteran or woman-owned, as well as those serving lower-income communities), and a member of the Columbia Chamber.

2022 Midlands Minority Business Accelerator Cohort:
Allison Sullivan, Bluestein Attorneys
Rozalynn Goodwin, Confidence by Gabby
Elias Lykes, Defender Firearms & Training
Heather Leigh, Greenhaven Memorial Gardens
William Patterson, Patcon Industries
Debi Schadel, Flock and Rally
Nathaniel Abraham, Carolina Panorama
Niketa Galloway, Bizzy Kidz Kab Company

The program began with the Greenville Chamber in 2012 and will be replicated in the Columbia and Charleston markets in 2022, led by their respective Chambers of Commerce. In September, it was announced that a $500,000 grant from Bank of America would help to fund the expansion of the program. The Midlands program is also powered by sponsors Dominion Energy and the South Carolina Research Authority.

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