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Urban League Partners for Program to Boost Small Businesses


This article was originally published on nooga.com.


The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga has partnered with other local and national organizations to launch NextLevel Chattanooga, a program that will help area small businesses grow and succeed. 

NextLevel Chattanooga is a seven-month program that will provide business owners with the tools and connections to help them create jobs and grow, according to a news release. 

"Chattanooga is an inherently entrepreneurial region and has a long history of achieving job growth through locally owned small businesses," Warren Logan, Urban League of Greater Chattanooga CEO, said in a prepared statement. "We recognize an opportunity to help these vital members of our local economy continue to thrive through the development and implementation of strategically sound plans for growth."  

NextLevel Chattanooga will use the StreetWise MBA curriculum, which is a nationally recognized program developed by Interise, a Boston-based nonprofit that aims to help underserved small businesses.  

Participants will engage in a format that includes peer-to-peer CEO mentoring sessions. And they will use the curriculum to learn about topics such as financial management, marketing and sales, human resources tactics, business strategy development, and access to new capital and contracts.  

Interise has a large network of partners across the country who use this curriculum, and more than 2,500 small businesses nationwide have completed the StreetWise MBA program since it was first delivered about 10 years ago. 

StreetWise MBA graduates reported revenue growth of nearly 40 percent last year, according to a news release.  

NextLevel Chattanooga seeks to bring similar results to small businesses in the Chattanooga region.

Small businesses that are located in the greater Chattanooga area, generate revenues between $250,000 and $10 million, have been in business for at least three years, and have at least one employee besides the owner are eligible to participate.  

The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga has support from the city of Chattanooga and BrightBridge, which is a Small Business Administration lender.