Applications for the 2024 cohort are currently closed. 2025 cohort applications will open later in 2024. 

The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator (MMBA) is a program of the Columbia Chamber in partnership with the South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator. The South Carolina Minority Business Accelerator is a statewide initiative formed by Greenville Chamber, Charleston Metro Chamber, and the Columbia Chamber.

Funded with a seed grant from Bank of America, MMBA is an initiative designed to advance economic inclusion across the state of South Carolina by helping to reduce the economic disparities experienced by minority-owned businesses. The initiative provides opportunities for economic growth and prosperity for high-potential minority-owned firms. MMBA is a major economic development tool of the Columbia Chamber and is designed to make minority businesses more competitive. Its mission is clear: to accelerate the development of minority-owned businesses to strengthen and expand our region's minority entrepreneurial community.

MMBA Curriculum

The Columbia Chamber's Minority Business Accelerator uses the award-winning and internationally-recognized StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum created by Interise to aid business owners in developing a three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan™, which is customized to their individual business and details the strategies and tactics the owner and staff will take to increase revenue, financial management and improve access to capital.

During the 12-month MBA Program Participants Can Expect To Learn:

  • Business development strategies
  • Strategic planning
  • Financial management and analysis
  • Human resources
  • Accessing capital
  • Securing corporate and government contracts

Who should apply?

The Midlands Minority Business Accelerator's ideal candidates are those who meet the qualifications and are looking for sustainable growth in their business. This program is for those will put the necessary effort into the development and implementation of their Growth Plans, those who are committed, prepared, and eager to participate in peer learning, and those who understand the importance of working on strategic priorities.

Qualifications:

  1. Must be a minority-owned business, defined as at least 51% owned operated, and controlled by individuals who are a part of a racial, cultural, or ethnic minority group.
  2. Must be a small business who meets the minimum annual revenue requirements of $200k.
  3. Must have the equivalent of at least one full-time equivalent (FTE), beside the owner.
  4. Beyond start-up phase, should be in operation for at least three years of application date.

Application Process

All applicants must complete an online application and an in-person interview. Applications and interviews are independently evaluated by the Midlands Minority Business Accelerator leadership team to ensure fairness and integrity in the selection process.

You will first need to register. Unless you have a personal login that you use on a regular basis, please use the 'Not a Partner?' link to complete your registration. Make sure to register using an email that you check on a regular basis as we will be sending updates on the status of your application to the email address you provide. Once you have successfully registered, you will then be directed to a confirmation window containing a link to the online application.

The application process is two parts: a written application and an in-person interview with program facilitators. The application deadline is Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at 5:00PM. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered. You will be contacted in early November to schedule your interview.

Please note that you must complete this application in one session. Before beginning, we recommend that you review the PDF APPLICATION, gather the information you need, compose your answers in a Word document, and then copy and paste into the online application.

APPLY NOW

To learn more about becoming a MBA participant, contact Naomi Walton by email or at (803) 733-1149.