M&T Bank: launches multicultural innovation lab for small businesses



BUFFALO, NY, October 6, 2021M&T Bank announced the launch of a six-week multicultural innovation lab for small businesses at a press event this morning on the East Side of Buffalo, NY. The new program will provide 30 multicultural businesses with advice and training in business planning, credit building, access to capital, marketing and networking. It will conclude with a “Shark Tank” style venture capital competition, awarding grants of up to $ 5,000 to three winners.

The Innovation Lab will be a comprehensive support ecosystem designed to enable Black, Indigenous, Latin, refugee and other multicultural businesses on the East Side of Buffalo to accelerate their growth and seek out new ideas to serve their communities.

“By joining M&T Bank’s Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab, I look forward to growing as an entrepreneur and developing new ways to help my business reach its full potential,” said Chief Bobby Anderson , owner of F-BITES, which serves East Side residents through its nutrition education and skills training programs. “I use culinary education and cooking education to help people develop their leadership skills, professional skills and career preparation. Strengthening my business expertise through this program will help F-BITES continue to increase its impact. ”

The launch event was attended by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, M&T Bank President and COO Richard Gold, M&T Bank Director of Multicultural Banking David Femi, Canisius College Director of the New Buffalo Institute and the WNY Prosperity Mary Rockwell Fellowship Program, Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center Executive Director Derrick Parson, F-BITES Owner Bobby Anderson, along with other business owners, community members and M&T employees involved in the program.

“When people of diverse racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds take the risk of starting a business and pursuing a dream, we need to be there for them and support their success,” said David Femi, Multicultural Banking & Community Segment Manager M&T Bank Affairs. . “Our Multicultural Innovation Lab for Small Businesses is an important next step in our community’s work to encourage and invest in entrepreneurship in East Buffalo and across town. These businesses, when guided and supported, can make a difference in people’s lives and uplift our community. ”

M&T Bank will team up with Canisius College lead in-person sessions and coordinate portions of the programming. He has also worked closely with municipal government officials to hire and recruit entrepreneurs whose businesses are located in the trade corridors of the East Side.

“The New Buffalo Institute at Canisius College is delighted to partner with M&T Bank for its Multicultural Innovation Lab for Small Businesses,” said Mary Rockwell, Director of the New Buffalo Institute and the WNY Prosperity Fellowship Program at Canisius College. . “Experts from our Wehle School of Business, alongside M&T bankers, will help strengthen the network of resources and services available to entrepreneurs as they face challenges and capitalize on opportunities throughout. of their path to growth. We will learn from this program and work closely with M&T to continue to strengthen the Buffalo ecosystem for small businesses. ”

“Supporting small business development has been a critical part of our efforts to stimulate inclusive economic growth in Buffalo neighborhoods. Small businesses create rewarding employment opportunities for our residents and make our communities stronger and more vibrant, ”said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “I am delighted to see M&T Bank combine its commitment to the East Side with its expertise in business banking services by launching the Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab. M&T Bank is one of the strong partners in our city and a big supporter of my summer youth internship. and employment. By creating his own program, like the WNY Tech Skills Initiative, he gave our young people access to free training. I will encourage M&T Bank to continue to develop the new Innovation Lab program and to continue to implement its work to support our community.

The program’s pitch competition winners will be determined by several factors including market / community needs, company locations, business plan, ability to adapt to changing market forces, growth potential and its positive impact on the community; and how the business has evolved over the six weeks of the program.

Support the east side of Buffalo

This new initiative builds on M&T’s commitment to serving the East Side of Buffalo and the city’s diverse multicultural communities.

  • M&T recently invested over $ 2 million to renovate and install improved technology in its East Side branch network, and commissioned a mural of the Buffalo-born jazz legend Grover Washington Jr., which was created by prolific local artist Edreys Wajed and installed at his Kensington branch. .

  • To meet the needs of the community, the bank has partnered with local businesses and organizations to offer financial solutions and advice, such as working with the Jericho Road Community Health Center to provide funding and charitable support. to open a medical facility in the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood.

  • It has also created new banking products and services, including a secure credit card designed to help people build or rebuild credit.

  • Recognizing the importance of creating career paths, M&T participated in Mayor Brown’s youth internship and summer job program, bringing in students in the business to learn the fundamentals of consumer banking and small businesses.

  • The bank is also creating community talent pools to develop the tech workforce through programs that focus on access to careers, including its tech learning program Z Development Program and the WNY Tech Skills. Initiative.

  • M&T’s $ 1 million pledge to East Side Avenues, a public-private partnership that supports transformation projects in East Side trade corridors, is among local initiatives M&T has supported through charitable funds. .

  • Over the past decade, M&T has donated over $ 67.7 million to nonprofits in western New York State. One of its most significant initiatives, Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, continued to grow with the opening of BPN Children’s Academy in Gerard Place in 2019. The M&T-led initiative focuses on providing educational opportunities to stimulate economic revitalization. M&T has invested more than $ 31 million in the BPN initiative since its launch in 2010.

About M&T Bank

M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust related services are provided by affiliates of M & T’s Wilmington Trust and by M&T Bank.

Media contact:
Julia berchou
(716) 842-5385
[email protected]

© 2021 M&T Bank. FDIC member. Equal housing lender.


M&T banking company published this content on 06 October 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on 06 October 2021 04:15:06 PM UTC.


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