M&T Bank Launches Third Harrisburg Multicultural Small Business Lab

Seven-week business accelerator program to be held at Harrisburg University, beginning May 8

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 4, 2024 -- M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB) is seeking up to 45 entrepreneurs to participate in its third Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab – a program designed to provide multicultural business owners with the guidance and skills needed to build strong businesses, spur economic growth in the Harrisburg area, and build generational wealth for their families.

Registration is now open for the seven-week program which is held in partnership with the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (CIE). The program's sessions will focus on business planning, establishing credit, accessing capital, marketing, branding, and networking.

The Multicultural Small Business Lab launches May 8, with courses held each Wednesday evening at Harrisburg University. It will conclude Thursday, June 20 with a pitch competition and opportunity to win grants totaling $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place – all funded by M&T.

Entrepreneurs interested in participating in the program must complete an online application no later than April 19 and meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • In business no more than three years;
  • Annual business revenue of $350,000 or less; and,
  • Multicultural business owners who reside in Harrisburg's Capital Region.

Qualified applicants will be enrolled in the free program on a first-come, first-served basis.

"The mission of the Multicultural Small Business Lab is to create a more resilient community. We want to equip this year's participants with the knowledge, resources, and tools they need to grow their businesses, spur economic activity, and create generational wealth," said Nora Habig, M&T Bank's regional president for Central and Western Pennsylvania. "Now in its third year, we're proud that our partnership with the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship continues to serve as a catalyst for those looking to make a positive impact on our community."

Jay Jayamohan, CIE's executive director, said: "CIE and M&T Bank are all about turning dreams into concepts and solutions into businesses. Our Multicultural Lab is a testament to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and turning ideas into success stories."

The Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab launched in 2022, providing 40 small-business owners with free access to resources and education to grow their business. The 2022 Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab received the Catalyst Award from the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp.'s for its impact on businesses in the area.

"Participating in the Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab was a pivotal moment for me and my business," said Josue Osorto, owner of Bespoke Vending and winner of last year's pitch competition. "It's not just about gaining knowledge; it's about joining a dynamic network of diverse entrepreneurs committed to growth and innovation. Take the leap and be part of something extraordinary!"

"We have seen time and again over the last few years how the Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab is fostering the next generation of Harrisburg's entrepreneurs," Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams said. "We are proudly diverse, and our business community needs to reflect its residents. M&T Bank and Harrisburg University are creating a business environment that will have positive impacts for generations."

To apply for the Capital Region Multicultural Small Business Lab, visit mtb.com/harrisburglab.

About M&T Bank
M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T's principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, provides banking products and services in 12 states across the northeastern U.S. from Maine to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Trust-related services are provided in select markets in the U.S. and abroad by M&T's Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. For more information about M&T Bank, visit www.mtb.com.

About the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Harrisburg University
The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) empowers innovators to build successful ventures, including Harrisburg University students and faculty, as well as entrepreneurs in the community. In addition, CIE offers opportunities for partners to invest in important scientific discoveries, technological innovations, and academic research.

Media Contact:
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