Build Up Houston

Press Release

City of Houston Seeks Applicants for Build Up Houston
Free business education program focuses on capacity-building, contracting

February 10, 2022 -- Applications are now open for the seventh cohort of Build Up Houston, a no-cost executive education program that provides small business owners with practical business education, a supportive business network, and access to contracting opportunities. The program is offered by the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) in partnership with Interise.

"The City of Houston remains committed to assisting our small business community to achieve economic mobility,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "Build Up Houston will help companies develop strategies relevant to our economic climate, and I encourage our small business owners to participate in this program."

Businesses in construction, technology, and in the services, restaurant and hospitality industries are invited to apply before March 31 at The 7-month program, held in person on Tuesdays from 5-8 p.m., is set to begin in May 2022. Those interested can also attend a virtual informational session from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24. Registration is required at

“Build Up Houston gives you the benefits of classroom learning, real-world case studies and mentorship from industry experts – all for free,” said OBO Director Marsha E. Murray. “Based on program assessment data, graduates of this program have reported increased revenue and new insights on procurement practices in the public and private sectors.”

To qualify for Build Up Houston, a business must be:

  • Certified as a small business with the City of Houston
  • Operating for a minimum of two years
  • Have a minimum of two employees
  • Have minimum annual revenue of $150,000

“Participants in this upcoming cohort are likely to experience new normals as it relates to building and sustaining capacity, and Build Up Houston will lead to opportunities around capital, revenue increase and contracts,” said Bernard Johnson, director of programs at Interise. Interise is truly excited to partner with the City of Houston and support Mayor Turner’s commitment to economic mobility.”

For more information about Build Up Houston, contact Dr. Porscha Jackson at or go to