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    September 29, 2023

    The Morehouse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (MIEC) is launching an elite seven-month training session this week for 20 national business owners of color who have revenues of more than $10 million and aspire to reach the $20 million middle-market threshold within a few years. The Ascend National Program Cohort will begin its first sessions for the business executives from Wednesday through Friday at Morehouse College.

    The program kicks off at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Morehouse College’s Shirley A. Massey Leadership Conference Center at 830 Westview Dr.

    The executive cohort is being offered in partnership with the University of Washington’s Michael B. Foster School of Business and funded by a grant. JPMorgan Chase & Co. contributed $1 million to MIEC in June to support the growth of Black businesses in the metro Atlanta area and to form a cohesive regional network for organizations dedicated to serving entrepreneurs of color.

    In addition to receiving training from MIEC and the University of Washington, the Ascend National Program Cohort’s executive members will also be mentored by IBM business leaders and have access to consulting services from EY and RSM. Morehouse College students studying entrepreneurship will also assist in the program.

    “The fact that only about 2 percent of businesses in this country are Black-owned presents an obvious challenge in economic development for businesses of color that affect entire communities,” said Tiffany Bussey, Executive Director of MIEC. “Furthermore, most of our businesses never reach the million-dollar mark, so we’re leaning into providing increased support for those who are seeing some growth and need targeted support to make it to the next level and create true legacy wealth.”

    MIEC is a leader in higher education and industry collaborations that has been providing access to training and capital for entrepreneurs of color in the metro Atlanta area since 2004. Through partnerships within the tech, banking, and academic fields, MIEC has successfully helped to increase the number of businesses owned by people of color in metro Atlanta and provide support services to new and existing small, minority and women-owned business enterprises

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