The African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin is launching a new business accelerator called RISE for entrepreneurs in underserved neighborhoods. RISE is based on the successful MORTAR program in Cincinnati. A cohort of Milwaukee leaders, including African American Chamber president and chief executive officer Ossie Kendrix, traveled to Cincinnati several months ago to see MORTAR in action, Kendrix said.
MORTAR has graduated 180 entrepreneurs over the past four years, and their businesses have helped revitalize vacant city-owned storefronts in Cincinnati, he said.
Kendrix says “We chose to sign an agreement with MORTAR to develop a curriculum that really mirrors their efforts but is very relatable to Milwaukee residents in putting them through an intentional entrepreneurship training program.”
The African American Chamber will administer the program in partnership with LISC Milwaukee and The Milwaukee Urban League as part of their Ramp Up Project, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, which also includes the Pop-Up MKE initiative and their new Financial Opportunity Centers.
Read more about the MORTAR Milwaukee partnership here.