Release Date: August 28, 2023
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Minority and women entrepreneurs in Western New York will have the opportunity to boost their businesses, thanks to the renewal of a significant grant from Open4 in support of the University at Buffalo School of Management's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL).
Central to the renewed grant's focus is the continued enhancement of the CEL’s M&T Bank Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs (MWEE) program. The grant will enable CEL to expand the program by funding a second class in partnership with The Exchange at Beverly Gray specifically to support businesses in East Buffalo.
CEL will host 50 participants in its UB Downtown Gateway cohort and 25 at Beverly Gray, substantially increasing the number of businesses impacted by this long-running program.
The grant also provides funding for leadership coaching for program participants, enriching their entrepreneurial skill set and empowering them for success in their ventures.
“The additional funding by Open 4 and increased support from M&T are a testament to the impact the initial grant funding had on minority and women owned businesses in the region,” says Susan Steffan, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “Through our collaboration with The Exchange at Beverly Gray, we are using our combined resources to provide programming that will increase economic prosperity and create jobs in Western New York.”
The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is accepting applications for the MWEE cohort at Beverly Gray through Sept. 30. Classes will be held Tuesday evenings beginning in January.
Established in 1987, the CEL provides participants with individualized and interactive education in entrepreneurship. More than 1,500 CEL alumni employ more than 23,000 Western New Yorkers, and their businesses are worth more than $2.3 billion to the local economy. For more information, visit management.buffalo.edu/cel.