The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights and M&T Bank are partnering for the second year to offer a free 10-week “Small Business Accelerator Program” to assist small businesses—both emerging ones and those trying to rebuild from the impacts the COVID health crisis. The program will teach early-stage and minority entrepreneurs the essentials of business planning, operations, credit building, digital communication and financial management. It also could provide access to capital.
Applications are now being accepted to join the program, which will run from Jan. 10 through March 14. There is no limit on the number of programs that can participate, but the deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 23.
The first year of the program was an overwhelming success. More than 200 businesses pursued the opportunity to learn how to build their businesses.
To register for the program, go to Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management
Over the 10-week period, sessions will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Sessions will be virtual, but in-person networking also will be part of the program.
“Only about half of new businesses survive past five years and about eight out of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within their first 18 months,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “In order to address these inequities and assist in building minority ownership and wealth throughout the County, we must do better. We are thankful to M&T Bank for this partnership with our Office of Human Rights. This program will help entrepreneurs, especially those who are traditionally underserved, reach new heights and access important resources. I encourage small business owners to apply for this exciting opportunity.”
To be eligible for the Small Business Accelerator Program, businesses must be:
- Based in Montgomery County
- In business for at least two years
- Generating revenue
- In good standing with the County and State licensing departments
“M&T Bank is passionate about helping small-business owners in Montgomery County grow and sustain their businesses so that our communities thrive,” said AJ Nwoga, vice president and senior branch manager of M&T Bank’s Germantown branch. “This curriculum was intentionally developed to give the County’s entrepreneurs the tools and skills they need to overcome obstacles to success.”
Top business mentors, coaches and subject matter experts will lead the intensive 10-week bootcamp at no cost to participants.
Program highlights will include:
- Doing business in Montgomery County
- Banking fundamentals
- Business plans
- Strategic plans
- Financial statements
- Capital sources
- Business legal issues
- Pitching your business
- Pitch contest
- One-to-one coaching