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InnerCity Entrepreneurs (ICE) Growth Program Works for Worcester Manufacturers

Deadline for 2008 program applications: November 30, 2023

Many manufacturers share a common challenge—they can build a good business but then hit a plateau that makes it difficult to move the business to the next level of growth. That’s when they need InnerCity Entrepreneurs (ICE).

ICE is an award-winning, Massachusetts, small business development initiative that has educated 58 companies through its Boston program (since 2004) and Worcester program (since 2007). Past graduates of ICE’s 9-month "streetwise MBA" have increased their sales nearly $67 million since going through the program. The program combines peer-to-peer learning, networking opportunities, and management training to help urban entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

ICE Worcester 2007 Class Information
Graduates of the inaugural ICE Worcester program will receive a Certificate in Small Business Entrepreneurship from the Boston University Graduate School of Management, November 27, 2007, at Clark University for completing the program requirements. This included attending 14 classes, 6 facilitated peer-to-peer meetings, and 2 seminars as well as presenting 3-year strategic growth plans to the class and panel of experts from the ICE Private Sector Network.

The ICE Worcester 2007 class of 9 companies, competitively selected from a pool of 19 applicants, consists of a modular home builder, plastics and precision machine parts manufacturers, an IT staffing company, Web designer, and commercial printer, among others. There are three women-owned businesses, one African American–owned business, and five white male–owned businesses. Two of the entrepreneurs hail from India and Pakistan. The averages for the ICE Worcester companies are $2.1 million in annual sales, 14 employees, and 8.5 years in business.

Experience of ICE Worcester 2007 Manufacturing Entrepreneurs

Tom Sioui, Vice President, Slideways, Inc.
"ICE has provided the tools and fresh inspiration I need to scale my business. Slideways has been in business since 1994. We have grown slowly through good service and a few good customers. Three years ago we decided to start pushing for some real growth, we hired a new rep firm, and improved our operations. We saw two good years before hitting a plateau. About that time ICE contacted me and I immediately saw the value of the program.

"The end result of the ICE program is a 3-year growth plan that business owners can implement on their own. This is exactly the tool I needed. The process for getting there is very efficient and deliberate. It consists of classroom teaching, seminars on topics chosen by the class, and the Private Sector Network. The Private Sector Network consists of experienced business people and professionals that offer their expertise pro bono to the class. I have consulted with PSN members regarding operations, finance, and marketing. They have all contributed to my growth plan."

"The benefits for Slideways and myself have included introduction to top-notch professionals eager to help me solve problems; a peer group of local business owners for ideas, support, and peer pressure; and an executable growth plan consisting of goals, deadlines, and measures of success that has been reviewed and critiqued by a panel of PSN members."

"I strongly recommend ICE to any Worcester-area manufacturer. ICE is a great opportunity to step back from your day-to-day issues and focus on the process of growing a healthy, profitable business."

Slideways is a Worcester-based contract manufacturer specializing in machined plastic parts. Customers are OEMs of industrial machinery and distributors of power transmission products located throughout North America. Contact Tom Sioui at [email protected] for more information.

Henry Camosse, President, Camosse Masonry Supply
"Meeting with other manufacturers in the area is one of the highlights I find when I become involved in activities such as ICE. The headlines say that manufacturing is leaving Massachusetts and Worcester, and yet I am constantly meeting new people who are making things right here in our local area. Having grown up in a family business and always around machines, I enjoy visiting other production facilities and seeing "how it is made." I rarely walk away without one idea or method that I have seen that I can’t take back to my own plant.

"Being a business owner, there is a need to be able to talk to others that share the same issues, problems, dreams, and goals. ICE has enabled me to expand that group of businesspeople that I not only get to meet but, through the program, learn to trust and share some of the parts of my business that keep me up at night. As I find is true with most programs that I participate in, it is the casual conversations as much as the structured curriculum that I learn from, and have found something to take back with me."

Camosse Masonry Supply is a Worcester-based contract manufacturer specializing in concrete supplies for the masonry and landscaping markets. Contact Henry Camosse at [email protected] for more information.

ICE Worcester 2008 Program
ICE Worcester has limited space available for the 2008 program. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2023. Please also RSVP to join ICE for the Worcester Commencement ceremony November 27, 8–10 a.m., Tilton Hall at Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610.

For more information about applying for the 2008 program or attending commencement, contact Andy Goldberg at (617) 649-1524 or visit


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