Small businesses are a major economic driver, employing over 56 million American workers. In particular, established, growth-oriented small businesses that are minority-owned and/or based in low- and moderate-income communities have the potential to drive economic revitalization through job creation, wealth generation, and community building. However, these businesses often face unique challenges; they are less likely to have access to capital, networks of technical experts, and contracting opportunities with anchor institutions, corporations, and government agencies.

Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program equips small business owners with the resources, knowledge, and networks they need to successfully create and execute a Strategic Growth Action Plan. On average, alumni businesses experience revenue growth of 7.5 percent per year. Because participants are already growth-oriented employers, gains in revenue quickly translate to new jobs.

From 2004 to 2014, Interise alumni businesses created jobs at an average annual rate of nine percent. This is notable, compared to the rate of 0.7 percent for the private sector as a whole, and one percent among small businesses with less than 20 employees. StreetWise ‘MBA’™ alumni also showed greater resilience during the Great Recession: in 2009, while the economy overall was still losing jobs, network alumni achieved a job creation rate of 21.4%.


Interise alumni create more jobs than the private sector as a whole, and the jobs they create tend to offer higher salaries and better benefits. In 2014, the average annual salary of a new full-time job created by Interise alumni was $47,553 (slightly above the national average salary of $47,230). Interise businesses were more likely to offer paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave, as well as health and dental insurance.  


Job growth rates among Interise businesses are large and persistent over time, and they are higher for Latino- and black-owned businesses relative to other alumni segments. Continuing to address structural challenges faced by Interise participants, particularly minority business owners, can help create more resilient, high quality jobs in communities that need them the most.

“When small businesses grow, the community grows stronger—this is what Interise stands for.” -Jean Horstman, Interise CEO

To learn more about the link between revenue growth, job creation, and economic revitalization, download Interise’s 10-Year Report below.   

Report Cover

Download the Report