Initiative for a Competitive Inner City Launches Tuition-Free Executive Education Program to Help Accelerate Profitable Growth for BIPOC- and Woman-Owned Construction Contractors

Building for Growth program now accepting applications for inaugural cohort that begins May 12, 2022
Feb 8, 2022 11:00 AM ET

BOSTON, February 8, 2022 /3BL Media/ - A new tuition-free executive education program that aims to best position minority-owned and woman-owned businesses for growth and to effectively compete for larger-scale contracts in the construction industry is accepting applications for its inaugural cohort which launches in May 2022.

Building for Growth (BFG) is designed by Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a nonprofit whose innovative research and programming has prepared thousands of small business owners to access capital and achieve business growth.

The 21-week virtual BFG program is designed to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color)-owned and woman-owned construction-related companies reach their next level of success by helping them to develop sustainable growth strategies that position their small businesses to build capacity and accelerate profitable growth.

“Breaking down systemic and structural barriers for historically underserved business owners is a critical step in creating inclusive economic opportunity in the construction sector,” said ICIC CEO Steve Grossman. “We are excited for the launch of the Building for Growth program which will provide resources, strategies and support that help BIPOC- and woman-owned construction companies position their businesses to build capacity, increase competitiveness and accelerate profitable growth.”

BFG combines online classroom training, dedicated technical assistance and long-term mentorship. The course learnings are specific both to the construction industry and tailored to the individual participants’ businesses which distinguishes BFG from similar programs.

The program’s 21 virtual learning courses will be taught by leading construction industry practitioners and experts who will provide a deep dive into topics such as bonding, competing for contracts, and accessing capital. Additionally, participating business owners will benefit by gaining access to new partnerships in the industry, peer-to-peer networking within a vibrant cohort of BIPOC and woman contractors, and technical assistance that provides opportunities to apply practical solutions to their business in real-time.

“BIPOC- and woman-owned businesses have long been woefully underrepresented in the construction industry,” said Stephanie Hickman, President and CEO of Trice Construction, a Chicago-based certified M/WBE commercial concrete construction firm. “There are many sub-contractors that have the qualifications and technical capabilities but lack access to the resources needed to grow and build sufficient capacity to compete for larger contracts. The Building for Growth program will help these companies with the combination of capacity-building education, access to capital, mentorship, and connections necessary to take their businesses to the next level of success.”

Hickman, who is a graduate of ICIC’s business programs and a member of ICIC’s Board of Directors, serves on the BFG Advisory Board which has helped structure the program by providing overall expert guidance and deep knowledge of the construction industry. Joining her on the advisory board are industry experts: Sam Gude (Gude Management Group, Atlanta, GA), Jair Lynch (Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners, Washington, DC), Jennifer Pinck (formerly of Pinck & Co., Roxbury, MA), and Lamont Robinson (Director, Supplier Diversity, AmerisourceBergen).

To be eligible to participate in the BFG program, a company must be an independent, for-profit corporation in the construction industry; at least 51% BIPOC- and/or woman-owned; and, have annual revenues of $2MM-$10MM or be on course to reach or exceed $2MM within the next three years. In its inaugural year, the program is targeting companies located in cities along the Eastern Coast and the Chicago metro area with future plans to expand participation nationwide.

Building for Growth is currently accepting applications for its inaugural cohort which begins on May 12, 2022. BFG’s class will be limited to 50 businesses, and applications will be accepted online until Friday, April 8.

Questions about the program can be emailed to the BFG team at or click here to schedule an interest call to learn more.

About Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a national nonprofit research and technical assistance organization and the leading authority on U.S. under-resourced economies and the businesses that thrive there. ICIC’s mission is to drive inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs that create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents. Learn more at or @icicorg.