Viva Fall River

New Program for Minority Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Mar 6, 2024 | Small Business

Interise has partnered with the Urban League of Massachusetts to launch NextStage MBE Academy, powered by the award-winning Interise curriculum. The 1st cohort begins at the end of March/early April and 10 slots remain open. 

For the past 20 years, Interise has worked to create an inclusive economy by supporting established small businesses that are in low-income communities or are minority- or women-owned. The program has over 9,600 graduates, employing 150,000+ people, is offered in more than 85 markets, and has helped businesses grow by an average annual revenue growth of 38%. In addition, 97% of alumni businesses recommend the program, and Gains in employment, revenue growth, and access to capital are persistent over time.

Interise Alumni Testimonial:

“When I started this program, I was struggling. It didn’t matter if it was a good or bad economy. Our sales were flat. We couldn’t increase sales and were always in the hole. I entered the program, and the instructor made a lot of promises that I didn’t believe were going to be true, but she assured me they would. I would go into class every session thinking I had all the answers, and I would leave, wondering how I was still in business. Every class I went to I always left thinking and trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, and I would always get my answers from my other classmates. After graduating I finally understood how to run a business instead of how to do my job. Sales increased, doubled, doubled, and doubled to a point where we got 7 or 8 full-time employees. Most of the employees have been with me since I took the Interise class 10 years ago. Most of them were hourly employees and now they’re all homeowners.”

Businesses in the S Coast region are encouraged to apply, especially in the New Bedford and Fall River surrounding areas.


  • Located in the Fall River, New Bedford, areas, etc.
  • Generating at least $125k in annual sales
  • 2+ years in business
  • Employing at least 1 (in addition to yourself)
  • A minority business, woman-owned business, or a business in a low- to moderate income community maintaining at least 51% ownership.
  • Willing and able to attend a 7-month course, complete assignments and program surveys as requested.
  • Desire to create a 3 Year Strategic Growth Action Plan that is iterative.
  • Engage in focused development & leadership.
  • Identify ‘profit centers’ through financial analysis of their numbers.
  • Pinpoint options for accessing new capital
  • Diversify revenue growth via contracts (public & private)

View the program’s curriculum overview here.

Application link:

Visit to learn more!