January 18, 2024

The Columbia Chamber’s Midlands Minority Business Accelerator program recently graduated 2023 program participants and announced the 2024 class.

The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator (MMBA) 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 following the award winning and internationally recognized StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum created by Interise and led by Wendell Jones. Participants work closely with financial experts, coaches, and peers to develop 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, better their financial management and improve access to capital.

Graduating from the 2023 program were seven local, small business owners:

  • Alicia Davis, Davis Tax Consulting & Financial Services
  • Cornell Jones, Joseph C Logistics
  • Brittany Koester, Azalea Coffee Bar
  • Charity Stewart, The Glow Factory
  • Bryan Tayara, Rosewood Market and Deli
  • Teresa Tidwell-Smith, Meaningful Escapes Boutique Travel Agency, LLC 
  • Eunissa Warnock, The Assignment Agency

At the December 6th graduation ceremony, Cornell Jones received the MMBA Excellence Award for his dedication and growth throughout the program.

The 2024 class kicked-off their program in January:

  • Shirley Barnes, Southern Seafood and Diet 
  • Anthony Dicks, AA Dicks Funeral Home 
  • Sherard Duvall, OTR Media Group 
  • Ameer Green, Progressive Recovery Resources 
  • Evans Kohn, Energi Transport, Inc.   
  • DeQuena Niles, 3D Nail Academy 
  • Richard Robinson, Rave Installations    
  • Sharla Savage, C&S Tours 
  • Christopher Williams, AI Nautics 
  • Christopher Williams, Roy’s BBQ & Grille 

The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator 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.