Applications for the 2025 cohort are now open through October 31, 2024. 

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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 the Greenville Chamber, the Charleston Metro Chamber, and the Columbia Chamber.

Funded with a seed grant from Bank of America, MMBA is an initiative 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. Its mission is clear: to accelerate the development of minority-owned businesses to strengthen and expand our region's minority entrepreneurial community.

MMBA 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

Who should apply?

The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator's ideal candidates are those who meet the qualifications and are looking for sustainable growth in their business. This program is for those who will put the necessary effort into developing and implementing their Growth Plans, those who are committed, prepared, and eager to participate in peer learning, and those who understand the importance of working on strategic priorities.


  1. Must be a minority-owned business, defined as being at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by individuals who are members of a racial, cultural, or ethnic minority group.
  2. Must be a small business that meets the minimum annual revenue requirements of $200k.
  3. Must have the equivalent of at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) beside the owner.
  4. Beyond the start-up phase, it should be in operation for at least three years from the application date.

Application Process

All applicants must complete an online application and an in-person interview. Applications and interviews are independently evaluated by the Midlands Minority Business Accelerator leadership team to ensure fairness and integrity in the selection process.

The application process has two parts: a written application and an in-person interview with program facilitators. The application deadline is Tuesday, October 31, 2024, at 5:00PM. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered. You will be contacted in early November to schedule your interview.


To learn more about becoming an MMBA participant, contact Naomi Walton by email or at (803) 733-1149.