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InnerCity Entrepreneurs Job Creation Program Comes to Worcester

InnerCity Entrepreneurs (ICE) is a small business economic development initiative that started in Boston and has worked with 33 entrepreneurs over the past three years.  ICE promotes job creation, wealth generation, and capacity and community building for existing small businesses interested in growth through a combination of practice and applied research. ICE partners with community-based organizations and offers a competitively selected class of entrepreneurs a series of peer-to-peer learning, coursework, coaching, and networking activities over a nine-month period to facilitate access to new markets, capital, and knowledge. The graduates then continue to work together as part of the ICE Alumni Network.

What Does an ICE Class Look Like?
An ICE class consists of up to 15 presidents and owners of existing businesses with employees and/or contractors. These businesses run the gamut from manufacturers to retail and profes­sional service providers, and generate annual revenues of $250,000 to $10 million. All of these businesses have leaders who share a common goal of taking their companies to the next level. Classes have included a national mail order bakery, manufacturer of climbing systems, publisher of a Spanish language newspaper, IT service providers, general contractor, and auto collision repair company.  

What Can You Expect to Get From ICE?
You can expect to step back from the daily operation of your business, conduct a comprehensive and objective assessment of your company, set personal and professional goals, hone your skills in the areas of finance, marketing, sales, human and physical resource management, and craft a strategic growth plan to take your business to the next level. You will present the plan to your peers and panel of experts from the ICE Private Sector Network. Everything you do in this program is practically oriented toward learning, executing, and assessing outcomes. You will develop a level of trust and receive a degree of support and positive reinforcement rarely experienced in any technical assistance programs.

What Do ICE Entrepreneurs Have to Say About the Program?
“For the first time in the life of my company, I have a real plan. Not the slapped-together guesswork plan I usually come up with, either. Through coursework, peer-to-peer interactions, and access to the ICE Private Sector Network, ICE helped me build a strategic growth plan that I know I can execute. Before ICE, I could barely identify a proper goal much less achieve one. The class module ‘Setting and Achieving Goals’ was absolutely invaluable in setting me on the right track; I now use the techniques literally every day and already see the results on my balance sheet.”
Jeff James, President, Red Galoshes

“As someone who has been in business for two decades, I was at first somewhat skeptical as to whether ICE was for me. Having successfully completed the program, I will confess it was one of the best investments I could have made in myself and my business.  There was tremendous value from sharing with other CEOs who are challenged by similar growth issues. Unlike typical business school programs that focus on case studies of large corporations in the ICE program each entrepreneur uses his/her own company as the case study and develops a growth plan to take the company to the next level.”
Colette Phillips, President, Colette Phillips Communications

We are pleased to announce that we have decided to launch the program in Worcester in the first quarter of 2007. Interested companies should contact Jay Mattier, ICE Business Development Director, at (508) 363-0303 or [email protected] to receive information about the program and an application.