ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The deadline is drawing near for business owners to apply to participate in a cost-free business education program that Regions Bank and the St. Louis Regional Chamber are bringing to the area.
The program is called Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC). Through ICCC, business owners in urban or economically underserved areas receive no-cost financial education, business training and one-on-one business counseling to strengthen their companies. ICCC education is provided by experts from Harvard Business School, Northwestern University and Washington University, in addition to other leaders in the areas of marketing, financing and more.
The main event for ICCC in St. Louis will be a Sept. 29 executive education seminar for business owners who apply and are accepted into the program. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31.
Due to support from Regions and the Chamber, the intensive, all-day Sept. 29 event is provided at no cost to participants.
“Already, we’ve seen incredible momentum with more than 100 business owners applying to participate in ICCC, and it’s important for all additional business owners who are interested to go ahead and apply now while space is still available,” said Mike Hart, Midwest Area President for Regions Bank. “We see what ICCC is accomplishing for entrepreneurs across the country, and we want more companies in the St. Louis area to have access to this cost-free education and tap into these resources that are here to help them grow.”
Experts scheduled to participate in the Sept. 29 ICCC St. Louis seminar include Harvard Business School Professor Steven Rogers, a leading educator who helps small-business owners tap into their potential for growth. Also scheduled is Susan Perkins of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, an expert in business strategy, governance, globalization and more.
“In addition to top-tier national talent, ICCC will include local educators and experts who can connect with entrepreneurs one-on-one to help them develop their strategies and prepare for responsible, sustainable growth,” said Joe Reagan, President and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. “There are so many local businesses that are competitive and that have great futures. The key is to utilize the resources, the expertise and the guidance that are available to grow in a way that reaches more customers, creates more jobs and further strengthens the St. Louis region.”
Since ICCC started in 2005, representatives of more than 800 businesses have participated in the program in cities across the country. Participants have since raised more than $1.3 billion to grow their businesses – while creating nearly 11,000 jobs.
“For business owners to truly succeed, they have to be what I call ‘learned entrepreneurs,’” Rogers said. “The key is, for the rest of your life, embrace continuing education. Opportunities such as the one presented by ICCC in St. Louis will connect business owners with strategies, tactics and insights designed to increase your chances for success.”
The Sept. 29 seminar will take place at the Washington University Cortex Innovation Community. To apply to attend, business owners must fill out and submit an application via the ICCC website at this link.
Companies selected by ICCC are growth-oriented businesses with a significant presence in urban or economically underserved areas. The education presented at ICCC covers topics such as strategy, entrepreneurial finance, debt and equity finance, components of an investor pitch, valuation methodologies, raising capital, marketing and more.
ICCC is part of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a nonprofit research and strategy organization founded in 1994 to compile and share information to help support and strengthen urban market opportunities.
About the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City:
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC expands inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. ICIC’s unique knowledge and expertise about inner city success factors and thriving companies is developed from specialized urban networks and path-breaking research.