The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College has announced a new program aimed at providing entrepreneurs from minority and underrepresented communities with the skills and knowledge they need to leverage digital technologies to grow their business.
A collaboration between the Tuck School and Google, the inaugural event will take place in June at Google’s Cambridge, MA campus.
“The idea of the program is that in today’s world, in order for a company to be successful, they have to understand the digital world, understand how it impacts their business and use it to be successful,” Alva Taylor, faculty director of the Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies and associate professor at the Tuck School of Business, told TNJ.com.
An expert in innovation, technological change and new product development, Taylor said he expects the inaugural program to be fully enrolled at 50 participants, with a second offering of the program planned for the fall (details TBD).
He added, “Technology reduces the barriers to entering the corporate sector for many companies, particularly small and underrepresented businesses.”
Taylor noted that entrepreneurs can use social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook to find more ways to access capital, contact potential customers and understand their consumers. “The program is tailored towards helping underrepresented populations advance in the business world – this includes ethnic minorities, women, those with developmental disabilities and service-disabled Veterans, for example,” he explained.
Managing Director of Minority Business Programs at Tuck, Dr. Fred McKinney, told TNJ.com that the new program will introduce digital strategies and tools for the minority business community that can facilitate customer service, marketing, internal operations, finance and globalization. “Tuck has been offering business education for minority and underrepresented communities for over 35 years, graduating over 7,000 diverse business owners and entrepreneurs! The impact is real and expansive. We’re proud of the work we do for these communities and the Digital Excellence program is a natural progression for serving the needs of our community.”
McKinney also noted that cities like San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C. are meccas for business owners. “Entrepreneurs like to be around other entrepreneurs,” he said. “They like to talk to other entrepreneurs. If you’re not in that group, you’re going to have a hard time getting into that group. Tuck’s program will help create connections, both among minority entrepreneurs and with other parties, such as financial institutions and other technology companies. Part of our mission is to close the gap between the skills diverse businesses have and what they need to thrive in the digital realm.”
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