NextStage MBE Academy Overview

Once connected, business owners have this revelation: “I don’t have to be alone.” As a participant, you’ll be surrounded by CEOs, like you, who will become your trusted advisors. There is also an alumni group of CEOs, living around the country, for you to connect with for advice and business opportunities.
Interise and Urban League of Massachusetts bring you the NextStage Minority Business Entrepreneur Academy program. It uses Interise's award-winning StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum. This hands-on program provides the knowledge and know-how business owners need to create (and manage) a customized, three-year strategic growth plan.
Prepare for opportunities with government and anchor institutions, and learn from experts in the field of both public and private lending. Preparation for contracting success is a unique feature of the StreetWise 'MBA'™
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National Program Results
Based on 2021 Assessment Data, collected by Interise

  • 97% of Businesses recommend the program
  • 77% of alumni businesses increased or maintained their annual revenues, with an average annual revenue growth of 38%.
  • 78% of alumni businesses reported being profitable.
  • 60% of alumni CEOs stay connected to fellow participants, with 29% doing business with each other.
  • 60% of alumni businesses added or retained jobs
  • $399 million in government contracting secured by alumni businesses.

Basic Eligibility Requirements 

  • Businesses located in Boston, Brockton, Merrimack Valley, Pittsfield, Southcoast, Springfield, Worcester County or surrounding areas, 
  • Minority business owner maintaining at least 51% business ownership of the business.
  • Annual revenue between $150,000 and $5,000,000
  • A minimum of one full-time employee besides the owner(s).
  • Been in business for at least 3 years.
  • Willingness and ability to attend a 7-month course, complete mandatory assignments, and complete program surveys as requested. 

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? 

NextStage MBE Academy is an innovative program designed specifically for established small business owners. We provide you with the know-how, training, and networks needed to turn growth plans into action. NextStage Minority Business Entrepreneur Academy is a great opportunity to focus on your goals, maximize your time, and make a big leap forward.

View our eligibility requirements below.

NextStage MBE Academy 


"Since the program, I have worked on two city contracts and two projects with one of the general contractors that supported the program. In a year’s time of starting the program, I have doubled my revenue and number of employees.” 

Terry Sowells, CEO

SCMU, Inc.

Interise Alumni



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“I'm excited to hit the ground running after graduation. Interise helped me put in perspective the health of our business and how to map out a feasible action plan for continued growth. The other business owners were an invaluable part of the class and will continue to be a resource as our business grows.”

Lara Harrington, Co-owner

Boutique Fitness

Interise Alumni

“Just to know if I were on the right path would have been enough, but to have a plan for the future now is even better. This program is a must for all types of business. The knowledge helps grow all types of business. Interise is a special tool to have in today’s competitive market!”
“The Streetwise MBA helped me understand financial reports such as balance sheets and cash flow statements. I am more aware of the financial consequences of my decisions; as a result my business is more profitable and professional.  I learned about target marketing which has increased my ideal client base.  An added value is I learned to manage my time more efficiently, which allowed me to split my personal and work time.”

Angela Weston, CEO

Angela Weston Insurance Agency

Interise Alumni

Antonio Rodrigues, Owner

TNT Cleaning Services

Interise Alumni

In the almost 20 years of running programs in the Commonwealth Inner City Entrepreneurs/Interise has had the fortunate opportunity to work with local, regional, national, and even international businesses who call Massachusetts home some of those notable alumni include:

Internationally recognized Taza Chocolate , QVC’s own My Grandma's Coffee Cakes of New England, historical Wally's Cafe, local retail giants Tropical Foods, Stop and Compare Markets, and regional transportation stalwart DPV Transportation to proudly name a few of our over 500 local alumni.

“1 of 25 must-see entrepreneurship education programs in the world for established small businesses”