Minority Business Growth Program

Join the Connecticut Small Business Development Center for this  FREE 8-session virtual course that will provide Minority Owned Businesses with strategies and support to accelerate growth
Sessions will have a presentation followed by an application exercise.

FALL 2022 COHORT: NOV 10th - DEC 13th

Tuesdays & Thursdays (except Thanksgiving week) 6:00 - 9:00 PM via WebEx. 

Registration for the Fall 2022 cohort is now open. 

Register Here


Program Description

The Minority Business Growth Program (MBGP) will provide you with technical knowledge and access to resources to help your business scale and thrive. At the same time, you'll benefit from a shared collaborative experience. 

At Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC), we believe small and minority businesses are a critical component for building and sustaining vibrant communities, therefore, a key objective of the MBGP is to help business owners understand essential drivers for growth.

Your MBGP journey will commence with a critical review of your business, its operational capability, performance, and resource adequacy to build a snapshot of your business status. Your journey will continue over eight engaging sessions where you will receive valuable information from subject experts, participate in practical exercises and networking sessions, and be guided through operational and technical choices. Finally, we will help you consider the resources, tools, and technology needed to effectively engage your selected market and navigate a more comprehensive business environment.


"The eight-session online educational course has been very helpful in refreshing the key business fundamentals and its disciplined implementation. The instructor who led course content, guest speakers, and other subject experts have provided valuable resources."

Nikhil - 1st Cohort (May - June 2022)


To participate in the program, businesses must meet the following requirements:
  • Small Minority Businesses (5-100 employees)
  • Located in Connecticut
  • In operation for at least 1 year
  • Sales greater than $150,000
Course Curriculum
Session Date Topic
Session 1 Thursday 11/10 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (EST) Welcome Introduction & Business Review
Session 2 Tuesday 11/15 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (EST) Strategy Development
Session 3 Thursday 11/17 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (EST) Marketing for Growth
Thanksgiving Break
Session 4 Tuesday 11/29 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (EST) Digital Marketing
Session 5 Thursday 12/01 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (EST) Building Effective Teams
Session 6 Tuesday 12/06 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (EST) Managing Process & Use of Technology
Session 7 Thursday 12/08 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (EST) Business Planning & Performance Management
Session 8 Tuesday 12/13 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (EST) Preparing to & Accessing Capital



Course Leader

Mark Hayles is a business advisor for the Connecticut Small Business Development Center where he focuses on the development of small and minority businesses, especially those in underserved communities across the state. He has long understood that thriving small businesses are critical to local economic growth and that they need access to opportunities, capital, and resources so they grow and thrive.

He has more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, business educator, and mentor with a professional background in accounting, technology, and faith-based organizations in Europe and the US.

Mark’s life journey from the Caribbean to the UK, Europe, and the United States has helped him appreciate the incredible imagination, creativity, and determination of people to improve themselves and their communities. This experience has defined him and his rai·son d’ê·tre, to be an agent of impactful change.

Mark is passionate about learning and is a life-long student of history. He enjoys the outdoors, cooking (and eating), and being a dad to his two daughters.