The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce started the Scale to Excel initiative in 2020, a program aimed at spurring economic growth and improving inclusivity. It provides resources to minority businesses for helping form strategic connections that bring them in contact with larger businesses. 

The chamber partnered with Interise, a national organization doing this work in other places. Interise has created initiatives in 75 cities across the country, collecting data that allow Greensboro to track businesses' progress and growth over three years post-program.

Through workshops, graduates found ways to collaborate, with some even planning to create long-lasting relationships. According to Interise, 80 percent of alumni businesses nationwide reported being profitable after completing the program.

“This created a community,” says Niketa Greene, vice president of leadership, diversity, and inclusion for the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. “Entrepreneurs often experience a sense of isolation and that can be exacerbated when you're a minority entrepreneur and your access to resources is limited because of that.”

Entrepreneurs are offered four workshops during the Scale to Excel program. These include strategy and assessment, finances, marketing and growth evaluation. The strategy and assessment workshop has business owners identify where they are in the process compared to where they want to be. The program accepts employer-based businesses that have launched within the past three years and have created revenue of at least $175,000.

Scale to Excel is part of a larger city outreach effort called Accelerate Greensboro, which aims to bolster more minority businesses and entrepreneurs.

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