Cincinnati USA Regional ChamberGrowing the vibrancy and
economic prosperity of our region

In This Issue:

    October 06, 2015

    Chamber's MBA receives $150K grant

    Surdna FoundationThe Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) is pleased to announce it has received a $150,000 grant from The Surdna Foundation. These funds will support projects to accelerate the growth of firms aspiring to the MBA, create a business advisory board program for pipeline firms, and provide consulting services to cities wanting to replicate or model the MBA. 

    “The pipeline of firms entering the MBA can grow faster and smarter, and our MBA can assist other communities committed to finding solutions for full economic participation of its minority business enterprises.” said Rodney Swope, director of the MBA. “This generous grant from The Surdna Foundation will help us serve more firms locally, implement a business advisory board program to better consult small, but growing firms and replicate our nationally recognized program and processes to agencies across the country.”

    The Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development highlighted the MBA, earlier this year, as a model of urban innovation. Since 2012, the MBA has received requests from Charlotte, North Carolina; Greenville, South Carolina; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Lexington, Kentucky; St. Louis, Missouri; and Tampa, Florida to discuss the MBA and potential for their cities.

    “In the past five years, the MBA has supported the creation of over 200 jobs by portfolio firms; generating $2 million annually in wages and salaries and equating to additional $8 million injected into the 2015 local economy,” offered Phillip Holloman, MBA Leadership council board chair and president & COO of Cintas Corporation.” The Surdna grant will help speed the number of firms entering the MBA; further growing the local economy.”

    The MBA focuses on growing sizable minority-owned businesses based on the belief that those firms have the greatest potential to have the biggest impact on the region through the economic stimulus of job creation. Through work with portfolio companies, the MBA improves the capacity of local minority-owned businesses to serve as suppliers to corporations. The MBA also works to secure an annual spend goal from local corporations (MBA goal-setters) to procure goods and services from minority-owned firms.

    “2014 marked the second straight year for a goal setter minority spend of more than $1 billion.” added Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber President & CEO, Jill Meyer. “We’re thankful to the Surdna Foundation for helping the Chamber replicate this process and progress.”

    Currently, the Chamber’s MBA has 30 portfolio firms and 40 goal-setters. Additional information about the MBA is available at

    The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Lear more at or follow on twitter at @Surdna_Fndn.

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