For the third year in a row — and in a third major city within its service area — Regions Bank brought free financial seminars and potential access to investment capital to small business owners who want to expand their operations. Building on past successes in Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., Regions recently sponsored an Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) event in St. Louis, Mo.
ICCC is a program designed to help entrepreneurs in economically distressed urban areas overcome challenges, build capacity, and access capital. Founded as a nonprofit research and strategy organization by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter more than a decade ago, ICCC offers workshops to entrepreneurs free of charge thanks to corporate sponsors such as Regions and, in this case, the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The program has an encouraging record of nurturing small businesses, including many minority- and women-owned enterprises, by connecting them with sources of capital and helping them take their companies to the next level. The workshops have been likened to a crash-course MBA on steroids.
More than 120 small business owners attended in St. Louis, the most in the program’s 11-year history. Participants listened to college professors, business leaders, and other experts, took notes about marketing and strategy, arranged one-on-one coaching sessions, and networked with investment bankers, community leaders, and fellow entrepreneurs.
Regions sees its ongoing ICCC relationship as an opportunity to create shared value in the communities it serves, expand the bank’s role in economic development, and help small businesses thrive, grow, create jobs, and improve economic stability.
Congratulations Regions Financial Corporation!