Interise stimulates economic revitalization in lower income communities. We provide a diverse group of established small business owners with entrepreneurial education, new networks, and access to markets. Completion of our award-winning curriculum—the StreetWise ‘MBA’™–leads to business growth, new job creation, and community leadership.

Interise takes an innovative approach to economic development in lower income communities by helping existing small employers plan, achieve, and manage the long-term growth of their businesses. Through a national network of partners, Interise works over 60 cities across the country. Since 2008 Interise has been the national educational provider for the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative.

Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers. That’s why when small businesses thrive, our economy and communities thrive.

Yet 96 percent of small businesses fail in the first 10 years of operation.

We need to resolve this shortfall to create more jobs, strengthen cities’ local economies, and create more diversity among successful business owners.

That’s why Interise developed the StreetWise ‘MBA’™, an intensive, hands-on, 13-week mini MBA program to help small business owners with demonstrated potential survive that hazardous and critical start-up phase. CEOs who have themselves achieved early business growth and are motivated to build their own business skills and their network of peer entrepreneurs act as advisors to the program and its participants.

StreetWise ‘MBA’™ entrepreneurs graduate with a three-year strategic growth action plan and the tools, peer and professional networks needed to implement it. In addition, after completing the program small business owners find themselves far better equipped to successfully bid on contracts with government and anchor institutions.

On average, businesses that participate in the program create jobs at eight times the annual rate of the private sector. These are often jobs in communities where both the employment opportunities and vital services small businesses provide are sorely needed. And, as Interise small businesses grow, they contribute to local economic development. In 2015, 71% of employees at alumni companies were hired from local communities, with an average salary of $62,000.

Moreover, Interise business owners – 42% women, 61% minorities and 10% veterans – become stronger advocates for local residents and fellow business owners.