ST. LOUIS, Mo. – June 13, 2019 – Applications are now being accepted from small-business owners who are interested in growing their companies through high-impact, cost-free training provided by a powerful business education program that Regions Bank and the St. Louis Regional Chamber are bringing back to the area.

The program, called Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC), is designed to help small businesses in underserved communities build sustainable growth. ICCC is a nonprofit outreach of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, which was founded by Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Michael Porter to empower entrepreneurs in urban areas through greater access to education and business training opportunities.

By connecting business owners with experts in the fields of marketing, small-business finance and more, ICCC is designed to help business owners expand their companies, hire more people and serve more customers over time. The program is available to a wide range of entrepreneurs, regardless of whether they are Regions Bank customers or St. Louis Regional Chamber members.

ICCC participants gain practical insights on financing, marketing, capacity building and more. Interactive seminars and one-on-one coaching will be part of the September 10 ICCC St. Louis event.

“ICCC brings an incredible amount of resources directly to entrepreneurs, and we encourage business owners who are interested to apply now,” said Mike Hart, Greater St. Louis Market Executive for Regions Bank. “Nearly 100 entrepreneurs participated in the original ICCC St. Louis event in 2016. We have seen firsthand what ICCC has helped them achieve in terms of building relationships, building skills and building foundations for their continued success. It’s a program Regions is proud to bring back to St. Louis as part of our commitment to advancing small-business growth throughout our community.”

ICCC training will be delivered, in part, through a large-scale, all-day education event in St. Louis on September 10, 2019. Noted business professors and local experts will be available to participants, offering interactive seminars and one-on-one coaching. ICCC also offers follow-up webinars and longer-term coaching, all free of charge to qualified participants.

Our region is seeing a renaissance of entrepreneurial growth and expansion. Investing in programs like ICCC empowers business owners with the tools they need.
Tom Chulick, St. Louis Regional Chamber President & CEO

St. Louis Regional Chamber leaders said the impact that was made by the 2016 ICCC program prompted the Chamber to join Regions once again in bringing ICCC to the Gateway City. Each year, ICCC visits different cities across America. Bringing ICCC back to St. Louis provides an opportunity for 2016 alumni to share the progress they have made – while encouraging fellow entrepreneurs to apply for the cost-free training that will be provided to new participants this year.

“The business community is thrilled to have ICCC back in St. Louis,” said St. Louis Regional Chamber President & CEO Tom Chulick. “Our region is seeing a renaissance of entrepreneurial growth and expansion. Investing in programs like ICCC is not only critical to building up our regional economy, it also empowers business owners with the tools they need to work on, and not just in, their business. Having these resources makes St. Louis an attractive place for business owners to build their foundation and grow in our region.”

Regions and the St. Louis Regional Chamber hosted nearly 100 St. Louis entrepreneurs during the 2016 ICCC program. The 2019 event is set for September 10.

To take part, business owners need to apply directly through ICCC and meet various program criteria. Applications should be submitted by August 30. Additional information on ICCC criteria and the program’s history can be found on the ICCC website,

Experts scheduled to participate in the September 10 event include:

  • Susan Perkins: Visiting Professor with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Gail Ayala Taylor: Clinical Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
  • Steve Bookbinder: A nationally sought-after consultant who works with Fortune 500 companies on workforce and leadership effectiveness
  • Derrick Collins: Dean of the College of Business at Chicago State University

Companies selected by ICCC are growth-oriented businesses with a significant presence in economically distressed or urban areas. According to ICCC, more than 3,000 businesses have participated in the education initiative since ICCC was founded. Those businesses have raised more than $2 billion in capital and have created approximately 20,000 jobs in cities across America. 

About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $129 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 1,500 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at 

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.