M&T Bank Launches Second Annual Multicultural Small Business Lab for Greater Harrisburg Entrepreneurs

Seven-week business accelerator program to be held at Harrisburg University, beginning May 10

 HARRISBURG, Pa.; April 4, 2023 — M&T Bank is seeking as many as 50 entrepreneurs to participate in its second annual Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab – a program designed to provide multicultural business owners with the guidance and skills needed to build strong businesses, spur economic growth in the Harrisburg area and build generational wealth for their families.

The seven-week program, in partnership with the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (CIE), will focus on business planning, establishing credit, accessing capital, marketing, branding and networking.

The Multicultural Small Business Lab launches May 10, with courses held weekly each Wednesday evening at Harrisburg University. It will conclude June 21 with a pitch competition and opportunity to win grants totaling $12,000 — $6,000 for first place, $4,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place – all funded by M&T.

Entrepreneurs interested in participating in the program must complete an online application no later than April 18 and meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx or Asian American;
  • In business no more than three years;
  • Annual business revenue of $350,000 or less; and,
  • Reside in the Greater Harrisburg area.

Qualified applicants will be enrolled in the free program on a first-come, first-served basis. Entrepreneurs who participated in the Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab in 2022 are eligible to enroll this year, if they did not receive a prize award during last year’s program.

“The Multicultural Small Business Lab provides local entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources necessary to pursue opportunities benefitting their surrounding communities,” said Nora Habig, M&T Bank’s regional president for Central and Western Pennsylvania. “This year’s program marks the second year of our partnership with the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship to offer the Capital Region’s small-business owners a program and grant opportunities to propel their businesses to the next level.”

Jay Jayamohan, CIE’s executive director, said: “Without a doubt, entrepreneurship has proven to be one of the most effective ways of closing the wealth gap. CIE is proud to continue and strengthen our partnership with M&T through the Multicultural Small Business Lab to support intergenerational wealth-building opportunities for individuals driving innovation in Central Pennsylvania.”

The Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab launched in 2022, providing 40 minority small-business owners with free access to resources and education to grow their business. Three participants of last year’s program also won $10,000 in total funding from M&T through a business pitch competition. Last year’s Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab received the 2022 Catalyst Award from the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp.’s for its impact on businesses in the area.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region