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LIVELIHOOD NW PROGRAM

INCREASE PROJECT PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Powered by Interise's StreetWise 'MBA'™ Curriculum

PRACTICAL BUSINESS EDUCATION

In partnership with Prosper Portland, Livelihood NW brings you Increase Project, powered by Interise's award-winning StreetWise 'MBA'™ curriculum.

SUPPORTIVE BUSINESS NETWORK

Once connected, business owners have this revelation: “I don’t have to be alone.” As a participant, you’ll be surrounded by CEOs, like you, who will become your trusted advisors. There is also an alumni group of CEOs, living around the country, for you to connect with for advice and business opportunities.

ACCESS TO CAPITAL & CONTRACTING

Prepare for opportunities with government and anchor institutions, and learn from experts in the field of both public and private lending. Preparation for contracting success is a unique feature of the StreetWise 'MBA'™

2018 NATIONAL PROGRAM RESULTS

Based on 2017 Assessment Data, collected by Interise

  • 70% of alumni businesses increased or maintained their annual revenues, with an average annual revenue growth of 51%.
  • 80% of alumni businesses reported being profitable.
  • $863 million in government, institutional, and corporate contracting secured by alumni businesses.
  • 63% of alumni CEOs stay connected to fellow participants, with 26% doing business with each other.
  • 70% of alumni businesses added or retained jobs.

BASIC IDEAL CANDIDATES CRITERIA

  • Business owner must live and/or own a business within Portland city limits
  • $100,000+ in annual revenues
  • Have 1+ employee(s)
  • Been in business for at least 2 years
  • Willingness and ability to attend class for 7 months, complete mandatory assignments, and complete program survey's as requested
  • 50% of the business is owned by a person of color

  • It is so powerful to see the participants really dig in and stretch their thinking and increase their potential

    “I am excited to be a part of the Increase Project. In working with small business owners, I continually see them reach a stage where they need to grow their own skills in order to grow the business. This program guides them through expanding their own mental toolbox. It is so powerful to see the participants really dig in and stretch their thinking and increase their potential. They begin to work through problems that seemed unsolvable and discover new opportunities for growth.”

    Gavin D'Avanther
    Increase Project Instructor & Senior Business Advisor, Livelihood NW


  • I can (now) invest my time and energy into building a different sort of client base that can help us grow.

    "Through the program, I recognized that the my second largest client provided a large amount of revenue, but without much profit. I was giving too much of my time. I decided to walk away from that client knowing that I can invest my time and energy into building a different sort of client base that can help us grow.”

    Jasmine Tran
    Essance


  • Increase Project provided vital tools that any business could use to guide its path through growth stages toward success.

    "Increase Project provided vital tools that any business could use to guide its path through growth stages toward success. On top of the essential business education, I can’t imagine making this journey without the collective support of an incredible community of likeminded entrepreneurs!”

    Jessica Chan
    WINKPENS


  • I came into this program feeling uncertain but left with invaluable knowledge and connections.

    "The Increase Project has been nothing but helpful for me. I came into this program feeling uncertain but left with invaluable knowledge and connections. It's given me a network of other entrepreneurs of color, many whom I'm still in contact with and have as a resource. We all started the program in different stages of growth and that allowed us to learn from each other's mistakes.”

    Ro Tam
    Tanglewood Beverage Company


  • The cohort-based approach fosters community among the participants, who continue to engage long after graduation.

    "We conducted an extensive search for a curriculum that would help entrepreneurs of color grow and scale. We feel fortunate to have discovered the Interise program for the Increase Project, which offers this curriculum in a unique, culturally responsive way. The cohort-based approach fosters community among the participants, who continue to engage long after graduation.”

    Tory Campbell
    Entrepreneurship and Community Economic Development Manager, Prosper Portland


  • Increase Project was an amazing instrument of insight for us

    “Increase Project was an amazing instrument of insight for us: into the approach & practice of other businesses in our cohort, into the means & mechanisms necessary to scale, and into our own understanding of the parts & pieces of our business that had gone unadressed for either fear or misunderstanding for far too long.”

    Michelle Sanders & Miguel Salinas
    Attic Journals


  • Having the second cohort be a mix of native Spanish and English speakers created a great opportunity for intercultural learning and growth.

    "It has been an honor to facilitate the Streetwise MBA curriculum with such a special group of Portland based entrepreneurs. Watching the cohort members become friends, allies, and business mentors to each other, all while gaining skills to better strategize for their businesses and lives has been an amazing process. Having the second cohort be a mix of native Spanish and English speakers created a great opportunity for intercultural learning and growth. The cohort was a mixture of product and service business including hair care, landscaping, cleaning, remodeling, event planning, food and beverage products, food carts and restaurants. The partnership with the Portland Mercado was key to the success of this cohort."

    Liz Feldman
    Increase Project Instructor & Senior Business Advisor, Livelihood NW


  • The Increase Program has contributed significantly to the growth of our company and what I’ve learned will enable an even brighter future

    "The Increase Program is an incredible opportunity for a small business owner. It is truly focused on outreach to the traditionally underserved in the small business community. There are multiple tools that the program imparts to participants which increase the probability of business success. In addition, the program creates an invaluable network of business owners that allows ongoing sharing of best practices. The Increase Program has contributed significantly to the growth of our company and what I’ve learned will enable an even brighter future."

    Tyrone Foster
    Precision Landscape Services


  • It gave me the tools to continue planning, growing and thriving. It provided me with access to the right instruments I needed for so long.

    "One of the most important tools this program gave me, besides helping me to finish my strategic plan, was creating the mentality and the baseline of continuous improvement. It helped me to look at my business in a different way. I learn to analyze the position of my business in the present and gave me the vision of clear steps for the future; I can see my dreams were not crazy, now I can see the road to them because it gave me the tools to continue planning, growing and thriving. It has helped me to provide better opportunities for my employees, improve the quality of my services and to offer more resources and support for my community. This program is not magic, it requires work, it took me outside of my comfort zone, making me accountable and gave me the control over it. The program gave me a set of tools that will help me regardless what the future brings. This program has innovated and diversified my services, multiplying the opportunities and providing a sustainable process for continuing creating value, it provided me with access to the right instruments I needed for so long."

    Victoria Lara
    Lara Media Services

  • I encourage anyone that is thinking of applying, please apply, it is challenging, but it is well worth it!

    “The Increase Project has been an incredible learning opportunity for the entrepreneurs I serve. The program combines advanced business concepts and helps entrepreneurs apply the concepts to their current business. I remember the first class, all participants needed to develop an elevator pitch and some were more comfortable than others. Fast-forward a few months and they are now presenting impressive three-year growth plans with elevator speeches to match! I cannot emphasize enough the education component of the program. The importance for continued education and continued development is what will separate these businesses and take them to the next level. It has truly been a pleasure working with this cohort and I encourage anyone that is thinking of applying, please apply, it is challenging, but it is well worth it!”

    Aldo Medina
    Business Advising Program Manager, Portland Mercado


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