HOUSTON, Texas – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Regions Bank on Tuesday announced applications are now being accepted from Houston-area small-business owners seeking insights on how to grow their companies during difficult financial times.
The insights come from Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC), a tuition-free, high-impact program Regions brought to Houston beginning in 2020. Through ICCC, educators from leading business colleges and universities, including Harvard, coach entrepreneurs in underserved communities on ways to build long-term success for their businesses.
While the COVID-19 pandemic means in-person training is temporarily suspended, virtual training is moving forward in February, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply soon. Houston-focused ICCC workshops will be conducted online Tuesday, Feb. 23 and Thursday, Feb. 25. Sessions will be limited to 100 participants to offer maximum opportunities for business owners to ask questions and gain customized insights.
“Houston small-business owners have a history of facing and overcoming challenging times with a spirit of resourcefulness and resilience,” Mayor Turner said. “But the COVID-19 pandemic has presented entrepreneurs with an entirely different, and likely a longer-lasting, set of challenges. Through ICCC, we can help ensure small businesses in underserved communities receive access to training and resources that’s more valuable and vital than ever.”
Regions Bank is a believer in ICCC because we’ve seen it work in cities across the country.
John Stacy, Houston market executive for Regions
ICCC is part of the nonprofit Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, which was founded by Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Michael Porter to empower entrepreneurs in underserved areas through greater access to education and business training. ICCC has worked with thousands of business owners across the U.S. since 2005. The nonprofit’s research shows that, following ICCC training, program alumni have averaged 120% revenue growth, collectively creating 21,390 jobs while raising $2.23 billion in capital.
“Regions Bank is a believer in ICCC because we’ve seen it work in cities across the country,” said John Stacy, Houston market executive for Regions. “Our work with ICCC in Houston is especially important for this moment in our city’s history. Since the pandemic began, local businesses have adapted and found resourceful ways to move forward. The insights that ICCC delivers will help entrepreneurs build a firm foundation for emerging stronger and creating future success.”
By connecting business owners with experts in the fields of strategy, marketing, small-business finance and more, ICCC helps entrepreneurs expand their companies through sustainable, long-term growth. ICIC has adapted its curriculum to specifically address market disruption factors and management, as well as leadership and marketing challenges resulting from COVID-19.
ICCC training is provided tuition-free due to financial support from Regions and community partners. The program is available to a wide range of business owners, regardless of whether they are Regions Bank customers.
Educators participating in the Feb. 23 virtual workshops include Susan Perkins, associate professor of Strategic Management at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. CT and continue through 1 p.m. CT.
Workshops on Feb. 25 will include Dobbin Bookman, director of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President/Management (OPM) program. Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. CT, continuing through 1:30 p.m. CT.
Additional professors and business coaches will be available to business owners throughout the workshops and in the weeks following the program. Topics will be customized to the needs of entrepreneurs who are accepted into the program. Real-time Spanish-language translation services will be offered.
To take part, business owners need to apply directly through ICCC and meet various program criteria. Applications should be submitted by Friday, Feb. 12. Additional information on ICCC can be found on ICCC’s web page and a Houston-specific online application is available at this link.
In addition to the free training in February, follow-up webinars and additional coaching are made available by ICCC.
“The needs of today’s entrepreneurs look completely different than just one year ago,” said Steve Grossman, CEO of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. “With support from community partners like Regions Bank and the City of Houston, we can deliver relevant, high-impact programming to address those evolving needs. We can also provide resources to help empower and support small-business owners facing challenges they never imagined. We encourage Houston business owners to apply early while space is still available for these timely sessions.”
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $147 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,400 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.