By ICIC | September 18, 2023
How do you make a program you’ve run for many years interesting and valuable to participants?
Listen, evolve, adapt, grow, and partner.
This is the strategy ICIC follows for their flagship program, Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC). Launched in 2005, this program is a 40-hour “mini-MBA” comprised of in-person and virtual seminars, digital learning modules, and individual executive coaching for small business owners. Every year ICIC endeavors to make programming more relevant for program participants. This year’s ICCC statewide cohort in New Jersey is an example of partnerships driving an increase in participation and forging alliances with different organizations to provide what underserved businesses in New Jersey need to thrive and grow.
Partnerships…with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who not only endorsed the ICCC statewide program, but provided invaluable connections to agencies that support small businesses throughout the state.
“The ICIC is an incredible organization that empowers and uplifts small businesses across the nation. I am delighted to have worked with Steve Grossman to launch an ICIC cohort in New Jersey – which resulted in a successful kickoff event, with a majority of participants being women and minority small business owners. I look forward to seeing these small business owners succeed and make meaningful impacts in their communities.”
– Governor Phil Murphy
“Across rural towns, suburban municipalities, and urban centers, small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy and communities. In coordination with the NJEDA and ICIC, Phil and I are committed to the success of New Jersey’s Main Streets and will continue working to provide small business owners the tools they need to prosper.”
– First Lady Tammy Murphy
Partnerships…with funders, such as Santander Bank, which has a deep commitment to providing essential guidance and mentoring to small business owners to give them tools and opportunities to succeed. Santander brought a group of small-business bankers to the all-day program to meet with participants, giving them unique access to capital partners interested in long-term relationships.
“Our partnership with ICIC affords us the opportunity to advance equitable small business development in New Jersey and beyond. ICCC provides invaluable entrepreneurial skills development, capital access, and a pathway for small business owners to grow and scale their businesses.”
– Christina DeLay, Head of Small Business Banking at Santander Bank
Partnerships…within the ecosystem, such as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), which focuses on providing opportunities for innovation and business to thrive together, through many programs, including ICCC.
“Under Governor Murphy and First Lady Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is working in overdrive to ensure minority- and women-owned small businesses have the resources, support, and access to capital needed to grow and thrive. The NJEDA is proud to partner with ICIC on this initiative, which helps puts small business owners on the path to success. The ICCC is a proven program that aligns with New Jersey’s mission of supporting minority-owned businesses and our collaboration will ensure our small business community continues to flourish.”
– NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.
Partnerships…with businesses to help them refine their strategies, develop effective tactics to reach their target markets, and differentiate themselves in competitive markets.
“Great presenters and information. Very helpful! Thanks so much for providing guidance and insight and allowing my entrepreneurial mind to churn and burn.”
– Kenneth Savage, CEO, iCreate Productions
ICCC New Jersey 2023 Program Participant
Attendance for the ICCC NJ cohort was 40% higher than the previous year, making it the largest in-person ICCC gathering in several years.
“This opening provided a solid foundation of what to expect during this program. I am excited to learn more.”
– Jarrod Broadway, President, Vitality Sight LLC
ICCC New Jersey 2023 Program Participant
Here’s how it came about.
ICIC CEO Steve Grossman developed a relationship with New Jersey Governor Murphy in 2017. They formed a bond through a shared home base (Newton, MA) as well as stints in politics and government service. A few years ago, Steve Grossman broached the idea of running an ICCC cohort in New Jersey with the Governor’s endorsement. Fast forward to July, 2023, and the idea came to fruition with more involvement and success than anyone could have predicted. Governor Murphy and his wife,Tammy, both endorsed and attended the kickoff event in Newark for this statewide program, helping ICCC partner with the NJEDA and more than 30 key organizations to foster community outreach and business involvement in the program.
The Governor and Tammy Murphy’s involvement in the ICCC program provided clear backing and motivation for all partners in the development and delivery of the program. The Governor’s passionate commitment to fairness, equity, economic diversity, social justice, and racial justice dovetailed with ICIC’s mission and vision.
ICCC strives to create the highest value proposition for business success. In addition to the current programming focusing on business strategy and planning, marketing, talent management, and finance, ICCC is piloting sessions for mental health and wellness in the small business environment, digital optimization, and procurement training for B2B companies. The goal is to deepen business knowledge and sophistication and offer innovative programming to meet businesses where they are to create vibrant, successful organizations.
ICIC plans to use the ICCC New Jersey experience as a model moving forward to provide valuable and vital programming in other states. It’s the right thing to do. Get in touch if your state should be next on the list!
Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is a tuition-free executive leadership training program designed by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to help business owners in under-resourced communities build capacity for sustainable growth and resiliency. Through in-person and virtual seminars, digital learning modules, and individual coaching, our self-paced 40-hour “mini-MBA” allows you to customize a curriculum to fit your business’s specific needs.
The 2024 program will feature more in-person programming and peer-to-peer connections, and entrepreneurs will receive the tools and resources to scale, grow, and sustain their businesses.
ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs to create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents.
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Roxbury MA 02119
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