Minority Business Accelerator Announces 2020 Class, Program Enhancements

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The Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator recently graduated 2019 program participants and announced the 2020 class.

Graduating from the 2019 program were 17 local small business owners. Several participants received special honors for their dedication to the program and for demonstrable growth within their business as a result. Those participants are denoted with an asterisk below.

2019 MBA Graduates

Drayton Auston, HD Auston Moving Systems
Erica Berg, Collective Music Solutions, LLC
*Tiffney Davidson-Parker, Universal Therapeutic Services, LLC (UTS)
*Raygan France, Memoirs Events & Catering
*Stacey Gardin, Smit’N Photography, LLC
Michael Goldsmith, G-Force Carpet Cleaning
Andre Harrison, Heart of the Carolinas Medical Supply
Chris Hendrix, Window Genie of Greenville
Kendra McKinney, Little Learners Academy
Angela Pyles, B Major Piano Studio, LLC
Patrick Ratliff, Up and Up Coaching
*Jill Rose, Perceptive Recruiting
Jackie Saunders, Memoirs Events & Catering
Michelle Smith, The Parent Pal
Shan Smith, Good Sense Automation, LLC
Mindy Tobin, Secondary Solutions
Vanessa Young, CleanizerPro

The 2020 class recently kicked off their program. For the first six months, participants will follow the internationally-recognized Interise StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum under the instruction of Wendell Jones. The remaining half of the year, participants work in peer-to-peer mentor groups, meet with their assigned coaches, and work to implement growth strategies gained from the program.

2020 MBA Class

Ebony Austin, Cassy Electric, LLC
Yukichi Hagins, Yukichi Hagins Realty
Duffy Baehr, Baehr Feet
Tory Atkins, Tory Atkins Nationwide Agency
Shutoya Hudson, Hudson Brow and Waxing
Shonette Sullivan, The Shekinah Group, LLC
Monier Abusaft, I.B. Industries, LLC
Justin Jenkins, Paveway Express Ltd.co
Dannah Mitchell Farr, Carolina Nursing Associates
Tameika Alston-Gibson, Visions Medical Health Care Services
Myson Jones, Hoops University
Justen Thompson, Carolina Southern Logistics

Also new in 2020 are several initiatives to expand the reach of the program.

The Greenville Chamber is now partnering with the Anderson and Spartanburg Chambers of Commerce to broaden the scope of the Minority Business Accelerator to the Upstate. Historically comprised of primarily Greenville-based businesses, this move aims to support more businesses throughout the region.

A partnership was also formed with South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to provide specialized training for those organizations that do not yet qualify for the MBA program. Those participating in the inaugural program designed as a feeder to MBA include:

2020 SBDC Program Participants

Cassandra Beaudry, HR Assist ME
Willie Benjamin, Printing-Opportunity
Albert M. Bethea, Petroleum Group LLC
Tamara Cole, Chef TLC, LLC
Damion Evett, Evett’s Enterprises LLC
Jessica Kuhnel, Baverican LLC
Michael Mance, Mance Multimedia
Mary McElya, The People’s Talent Show, LLC
Mark Misanko, Mark Misanko
Dariaus Philson, SerpAlliance Digital Marketing
Kathryn Preston, ViVasecious
Emmanuela Rodenberg, Dear Emmanuela
Christine M. Scott, Christine Language Solutions, LLC
Connie Tate, Blended Butterfly
Coreshia Walker, Diamond In The Rough Investments
Felix Barron, Felix Barron & Associates LLC
Clarence Parker, Health and Fitness Alliance
Eric Spencer, Butler and a Broom

The MBA program is one of only six in the nation offered by Chambers of Commerce. To qualify, businesses must be based in the Upstate, socially or economically disadvantaged (minority, veteran or woman-owned, as well as those serving lower income communities), and a member of the Anderson, Greenville or Spartanburg Chamber.

Since inception, the program has graduated more than 100 participants, created 250 new fulltime jobs, and participants have seen a combined $23.5 million in new revenue.

Learn more at greenvillechamber.org/mba.

Written by Megan Campbell, Greenville Chamber.