Mayor's Office Press Release

Inclusive Prosperity: Mayor Sylvester Turner, Regions Bank Announce Tuition-Free, Harvard-Level Training Program for Entrepreneurs

February 13, 2020 -- Applications are now being accepted from small-business owners who are interested in growing their companies through a tuition-free program that Regions Bank is recruiting to Houston.

The program is called Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC). Since 2005, ICCC has worked with thousands of business owners from economically underserved communities across the U.S. The City's partnership with Regions Bank to launch this program is the latest development in Mayor Sylvester Turner's Complete Communities Initiative.

“While Houston’s strong economy helps our city continue to grow on the global stage, we need to ensure this growth doesn’t leave people behind,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “ICCC helps level the playing field for businesses in underserved communities. This is about more than training and education. It is about access to resources that can help entrepreneurs grow their companies and create more jobs. We appreciate Regions Bank for bringing ICCC to Houston for the first time in the program’s history.”

Entrepeneurs Press Conference

ICCC is part of the nonprofit Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, which was founded by Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Michael Porter to empower entrepreneurs in underserved areas through greater access to education and business training.

By connecting business owners with experts in the fields of strategy, marketing, small-business finance and more, ICCC helps entrepreneurs expand their companies through sustainable, long-term growth. The program is available to a wide range of business owners, regardless of whether they are Regions Bank customers.

“Over the last several years, Regions Bank has worked with ICCC in several major cities, and we’ve seen the incredible results this program delivers,” said Mark Jacobs, Houston Market Executive for Regions. “At the same time, Regions has been steadily building its presence in Houston. Bringing ICCC to Houston in 2020 is a natural extension of our commitment to serving Southeast Texas and advancing small-business growth throughout the area.”

ICCC training is provided tuition-free due to financial support from Regions and community partners. The training will be delivered, in part, through an all-day education event in Houston on June 17. Educators will include Dobbin Bookman, director of Harvard Business School’s global Owner President/Management (OPM) program.

Additional professors and business coaches will be available to business owners throughout the June 17 event. Topics will be customized to the needs of entrepreneurs that are accepted into the program. Real-time Spanish-language translation services will be offered.

To take part, business owners need to apply directly through ICCC and meet various program criteria. Applications should be submitted by Friday, May 22. Additional information on ICCC criteria and an online application form can be found at www.iccapitalconnections.org.

After June, business owners will have access to several free, follow-up webinars and can receive additional coaching as they carry out their business plans.