More than 30 Business Owners Attend Information Session to Connect Small Businesses in Greater Hartford to Capacity-Building Education

More than 30 Greater Hartford small and medium-sized business owners attended an information session at Trinity College hosted by Boston-based nonprofit Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to learn more about the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program. With the support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, ICIC has brought the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program to the Hartford area for the first time this year.

Launched in Greater Hartford this past February, Inner City Capital Connections is a tuition-free 40-hour executive leadership training program that positions small- and medium-sized businesses in economically distressed areas for long-term growth through capacity-building education, one-on-one coaching, and access to capital. The program was designed by Initiative for a Competitive Inner City to address the needs of urban entrepreneurs identified by its research in accessing capital, leadership and management education, and enhanced business networks and visibility.

The goal of the information session was to inform and encourage business owners across Hartford to take advantage of this free leadership program. Hartford Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez has been working to engage potential local small businesses to encourage them to apply for the program.

The ICCC program supports diverse business owners in building capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability, and employment. The program kicks off with an all-day training seminar on Wednesday, May 29, followed by a series of online webinars where participants learn strategy, entrepreneurial finance, marketing, and capital options.

“Many of the entrepreneurs who go through this program have never been taught talent management and leadership effectiveness. Those are some of the key components of the program from an educational standpoint,” CEO of ICIC, Steve Grossman says. “You go home saying, ‘I learned six or eight things that I can put into my business tomorrow morning.’”

The program also offers one-on-one coaching with local and virtual mentors ranging from small business bankers to top consulting firms. The program culminates with a National Conference in Boston in November where participants apply their training to connect with different capital providers, including private equity, venture capital, and commercial banking.

In addition to learning about the ICCC Hartford program, attendees will learn about the Academy for Small Business created by Liberty Bank, a 10-week training program to help start-ups unleash their earning potential, and other resources to support small businesses.

"As the capital city, Hartford businesses have a lot to offer, providing a diverse spectrum of services for many throughout the region,” Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez says. “I am excited that this event provided information about unique resources that are now for the first time being offered to our businesses. Attendees had chance to hear from ICCC and Liberty Bank on these one-of a kind, free programs for Hartford businesses.”

The Hartford area program will target small- and medium-sized businesses that have been in operations for at least two years and have strong growth potential, but need guidance on getting access to capital and building their capacity.

For those interested in attending the Information Session, register here. For those interested in applying for the ICCC program, apply here.

For any additional questions, contact Marynee Pontes, Senior Program Coordinator with ICCC, at or (617) 238-3035.