M&T Bank is seeking as many as 50 entrepreneurs to take part in its second annual Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab – a free program designed to provide multicultural business owners with the guidance and skills needed to build strong businesses, spur economic growth in the Harrisburg area and build generational wealth.
The seven-week program, in partnership with the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, will focus on business planning, establishing credit, accessing capital, marketing, branding and networking.
The Multicultural Small Business Lab starts May 10 at Harrisburg University, with courses held weekly Wednesday evenings. It will conclude June 21 with a pitch competition and opportunity to win M&T-funded grants totaling $12,000 – $6,000 for first place, $4,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place.
Entrepreneurs interested in participating must complete an online application no later than April 18 and meet the following eligibility requirements:
· Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx or Asian American;
· In business no more than three years;
· Annual business revenue of $350,000 or less;
· Reside in the Greater Harrisburg area.
Qualified applicants will be enrolled in the program on a first-come, first-served basis.
Entrepreneurs who participated in the Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab in 2022 are eligible to enroll this year, if they did not receive a prize award during last year’s program.
“The Multicultural Small Business Lab provides local entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources necessary to pursue opportunities benefitting their surrounding communities,” Nora Habig, M&T Bank’s regional president for Central and Western Pennsylvania, said in a release. “This year’s program marks the second year of our partnership with the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship to offer the Capital Region’s small-business owners a program and grant opportunities to propel their businesses to the next level.”
In its first year, 2022, the program provided 40 minority small-business owners with free access to resources and education to grow their business.
Paula Wolf is a freelance writer