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Applications now open for first all-Black Business Accelerator in Saginaw


Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) has opened applications for Lift ME, an entrepreneurial program focused on accelerating Black-owned small businesses in Saginaw County.

Lift ME, CMURC’s first all-Black business accelerator, aims to Level the playing field, Increase representation, Foster new networks and Turn up financials for entrepreneurs. Members of the cohort will work through the program to accelerate their business with trackable milestones. Programming will allow participants to build community connections, develop skills, and access service providers that support the continued growth of Black-owned businesses.

Participants in the program must identify as Black, have founded or are currently conducting business in Saginaw, and must not be a franchise nor affiliated with a national chain. Applicants must also be a for-profit pre-established business owner. While CMURC does offer programming for entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey, this program is an established business accelerator.

“This program was designed in conjunction with our Entrepreneur Like ME initiative, the purpose is to expand upon the great work that entrepreneurs have already achieved, lift the business to the next level and highlight those people that make it happen.” said President + CEO of CMURC Erin Strang. “We are also looking to engage the whole community and welcome mentors, professional service providers, and those interested in serving Black-owned businesses.”

This program is designed as a 6-month program, entrepreneurs can join weekly Strategize ME sessions, bi-monthly one-on-one meetings, and monthly peer-to-peer workshops. Applications to the Lift ME program will be accepted until March 31, 2023. The members of the first cohort will be announced on May 4 at the Saginaw Soup Pitch Competition. For more information or to apply, please visit www.cmurc.com/liftme.

The Lift ME program is made possible through collaboration with PNC Foundation.

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