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Free ‘Mini-MBA’ Program Offered

Jarvez Hall

A program to create opportunity for minority-owned small businesses in the Portland metro area was launched Tuesday by Kaiser Permanente.

Jarvez Hall, East Metro Economic Alliance executive director, and Gale Castillo, president of the Hispanic Metro Chamber are helping organize the effort. Called Inner City Capital Connections, the program is like a tuition-free “mini-MBA” that provides 40 hours of training and a chance to go to a national event where the businesses can practice their capital pitches in front of investors.

The program is meant to improve not only the health prospects of the business owners and their employees, but of their entire communities.

Access to capital is a key component to economic vitality, and increasing opportunities for underrepresented business owners helps them on a path to economic vitality and economic equity.

“Programs like this help to revitalize communities and create growth from the inside, with businesses who hire people in their local communities,” Hall said. “The economic multiplier effect is tremendous, and we are not only investing in business, but we are investing in communities.”

Applications are open to nominate a small business by visiting, or a business can apply themselves at



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