The U.S. Black Chambers Inc. (USBC) has partnered with the University of Phoenix for a new entrepreneurial initiative. The USBC Step Up Entrepreneurs Program is designed to equip students with competency in market analysis and finance. During the three-week online program, students will have the opportunity to create business plans after completing coursework that will teach them to develop a business model, strategize and hit competition benchmarks.
As early as January 2016, the course is expected to be rolled out in five major cities.
“University of Phoenix is pleased to partner with USBC to provide African-American small business owners and entrepreneurs with an exclusive opportunity, integrating teachings from business courses with insights from local market experts who understand the economy in their communities,” said Byron Jones, chief financial officer, University of Phoenix. “The U.S. Black Chambers Entrepreneur program allows participants to experience some of the most challenging exercises business owners undergo with the training, support and counsel they need from seasoned professionals with demonstrated success in owning and managing a business.”
USBC President Ron Busby, who made mention of the program during a recent Wells Fargo announcement of an investment for diverse chambers of commerce, released the following statement about the program: “Gaining access to capital continues to be a major hurdle for African-American small business owners, and properly navigating that process is often the difference between success and failure. We are excited to collaborate with University of Phoenix on the U.S. Black Chambers Step Up Entrepreneurs program to help provide needed resources to support Black entrepreneurs, and believe it is an excellent example of local leaders and educators working together to improve the lives of our citizens and communities.”
During the Wells Fargo announcement, Busby said that, through the program, the USBC looks to further some of the work that President Obama has been doing for young entrepreneurs in urban communities.
To date, the University has invested a $500,000 grant into the program.