Baton Rouge, La. (June 20, 2023) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today opened applications for its second cohort of the Drive Minority Business Accelerator powered by ExxonMobil in partnership with Interise’s award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum. The program is designed for minority business owners who want to take their business to the next level within the Capital Region. The year-long program will begin September 2023. Interested individuals can find more information and apply at brac.org/drive.
“In its first year, BRAC’s Drive Minority Business Accelerator powered by ExxonMobil saw 11 businesses representing over $54 million in combined annual revenue complete the program, with the goal of spurring opportunities for further growth within the community,” said Trey Godfrey, BRAC senior vice president of policy. “This year, we plan to build upon last year’s successes, and continue to develop a program that supports minority-owned businesses scale and grow their operations through training in key areas like finance, human resources, and marketing.”
Drive powered by ExxonMobil is part of BRAC’s five-year strategic plan, BRING IT!, which identifies “creating a more inclusive economy,” as one of BRAC’s key goals for the next five years. The program is funded through generous contributions from companies across the region who continue to commit to advancing economic inclusion within the Baton Rouge Area. The program sponsor is ExxonMobil and community partners include LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business, b1 FOUNDATION, MetroMorphosis and the Southern University Law Center.
“Together with BRAC, ExxonMobil is focused on accelerating opportunities, cultivating talent and propelling the Baton Rouge community towards greater diversity and prosperity,” said ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant Manager Dave Luecke. “We are honored to play a vital role in driving innovation, economic development and positive transformation through this program.”
The foundation for this program lies in Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™, a nationally recognized, award-winning curriculum designed to accelerate the growth of existing small businesses. The StreetWise ‘MBA’™ uses a peer-learning method to provide small business owners with the knowledge, know-how, and networks necessary to grow and scale. Industry experts, business peers, and the program’s instructor provide insights, strategies, motivation, and accountability. At the end of the program, participants walk away with a vetted individualized three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan™ outlining the action steps required to achieve their business goals.
“Interise is so excited for the second iteration of the Drive Minority Business Accelerator powered by ExxonMobil in partnership with Interise’s award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum,” said Bernard Johnson, Interise Senior Director of Programs. “The successes of the first cohort and the growth of those businesses will affect the community for years to come. This upcoming Fall the second cohort embarks on their collective journey collaboratively while taking part in the development of a powerful and inclusive ecosystem for their businesses and employees. All of us here at Interise and our national collection of partners and supporters are truly excited to see these businesses scale and to maximize opportunities.”
Applications are open now through July 28, 2023. Preferred characteristics of applicants include being minority-owned with a minimum of $500,000 in annual revenue within the last five years, at least three full-time employees and at least 51% owned and operated by a minority. Participants will be selected by an advisory council and the program will begin in September 2023.
To learn more about Drive powered by ExxonMobil and apply for the program, interested individuals can visit brac.org/drive. Questions regarding the program can be directed to BRAC’s Manager of Economic Inclusion Davorio Stevenson at email@example.com.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org.
ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy and petrochemical companies, creates solutions that improve quality of life and meet society’s evolving needs.
The corporation’s primary businesses – Upstream, Product Solutions and Low Carbon Solutions – provide products that enable modern life, including energy, chemicals, lubricants, and lower-emissions technologies. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading portfolio of resources, and is one of the largest integrated fuels, lubricants and chemical companies in the world.
Interise builds an inclusive economy through small business development, supporting the growth of minority-owned small businesses and small businesses located in low- and moderate-income communities. Interise’s award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’™ uses a peer-learning method to provide business owners with the knowledge, know-how, and networks necessary to grow and scale. As Interise companies grow, they contribute to local job creation and build community wealth. Interise companies historically create new jobs at 5x the rate of the private sector, and are responsible for the creation of over 30,000 new jobs. Interise partners with government agencies, anchor institutions, and business associations to make locally branded StreetWise ‘MBA’™ programs available in 75+ cities, nationwide. Strategic Growth Partners include the Kauffman Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Prudential Foundation. More information can be found at interise.org, @StreetWise_MBA and facebook.com/Interise.