University Economic Development Association


StreetWise ‘MBA’™

Award Category: Innovation + Talent
Project Site: Streetwise ‘MBA’™
Submitted By: Interise
Contact: Craig Panzer , 617.350.6313


Interise stimulates economic revitalization in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities through job creation, wealth generation, and the fostering of community leadership by enabling established small business owners to further grow their businesses. Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™ is a 27-week capacity-building program that provides a diverse group of small business owners with the business knowledge, management know-how, and network of relationships needed for second-stage growth.

Interise’s innovative scaling model is simple, and the delivery is unique for nonprofits in the economic development space. Rather than build a large national organization in the already overcrowded small business development field, Interise developed a network model to scale mission impact.  Interise licenses the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ to partners who deliver it through their own locally branded programs. Interise provides the curriculum, training, quality assurance, and evaluation, enabling its range of partners to effectively and efficiently launch.

Thanks to the evaluation conducted since the inception of the StreetWise ‘MBA’™, Interise has a proprietary database of firm-level data collected annually from a network of over 5,000 small businesses. Interise’s longitudinal evaluation data reflects many trends pertaining to outcomes for all established small businesses, as well as LMI and minority-owned businesses. Future Interise research will identify explanatory factors and formulate recommendations for policymakers and philanthropic priorities that support economic development and the revitalization of LMI communities.

Since 2004, over 5,000 established small business owners in 85 locations have taken Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™ and have created over 30,000 jobs; 68% of Interise businesses are minority-owned and/or operate in LMI communities.

Finalist Presentation

UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists presented at the Annual Summit in Long Beach on October 2-3, 2017. Summit attendees then voted for the best initiative in each category.