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Get the bottom line on top minority business executive programs for entrepreneurs

to change dramatically over the next five years because of the Internet," says Paula E. Graves, program manager of Minority Business Executive Programs at the tuck School. "We must offer workshops on how to do business on the Internet, what participants’ competitors are doing and what they need to do."

Attendees prepare assignments before arriving and work in daily study groups to better understand course materials. They leave the program with action plans for improving their businesses.

The AMBEP program offers hands-on experience in developing and acting on a competitive strategy for a growing company. A business simulation requires skills in financial analysis, capital investment decisions and strategies for growth.

"One participant increased his profit margin by 40% as a result of attending this program," says Graves. "Graduates of this program say they are able to make financial decisions more effectively, solve problems at their companies and place an emphasis on team building."

But perhaps the greatest benefits of
Tuck’s program are the networking opportunities. Because the program is well established, participants have the opportunity to network with more than 1,380 successful alumni.

Tony Benjamin, president of Certified Transports Inc., a $4.5 million Seattle trucking firm, attended the MBEP program in 1991 and returned for the AMBEP program in 1993.

"In such a short period of time, you build close relationships, which is one of the core strengths of the program," Benjamin says. "I’ve done business with other program participants, and other alumni call to tell me about business opportunities and make referrals. From the time I went through the program, I’ve added two enterprises and allied with other small businesses that provide core competencies needed to assist in our growth."

For more information: Paula E. Graves, program manager, Minority Business Executive Program, the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth, 100 Tuck Hall, Hanover, NH 03755-9050; 603-646-3740 or 603-646-3879;
Howard University
Washington, D.C.
Minority Business Executive Program
Who should attend: Minority business owners in the first three years of the SBA’s 8(a) program with revenues of $500,000+.
Class size: 30
Fee: None. All attendees are from 8(a) sponsored firms.
Year started: 1996
Date: July (tentative)

Since 1996, 120 minority business owners have participated in this intensive one-week program that helps them master basic business skills such as cash flow management and capitalization.

"Most businesses start undercapitalized, which ultimately leads to their failure," says Pat Roberson-Saunders, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, Howard University School of Business. "We talk about financial issues to help them gain some sophistication and sources of capital."

With a focus on the critical issues and challenges facing minority entrepreneurs, participants gain valuable information from senior faculty members from the School of Business, most of whom were previously entrepreneurs and all of whom have done considerable business consulting.

Attendees are presented course work in strategic planning, marketing, cash flow management, cost control, finance and access to capital, and customer relations.


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