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June 30, 2022

M&T Bank launches program for minority entrepreneurs 

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED M&T Bank's headquarters in Bridgeport.

M&T Bank is launching a new Bridgeport-based Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab to help area entrepreneurs who are minorities.

The lab is a seven-week program aimed at providing participants with guidance and skills they need to successfully grow their businesses.

The bank is partnering with the University of Bridgeport Innovation Center for the effort, and classes will be at the university’s John J. Cox Student Center. 

The weekly classes will cover a variety of topics, such as creating a business plan, credit fundamentals, marketing, legal entity formation and pitch tips. Up to 50 entrepreneurs will be accepted to participate in the program.

It will kick off on Sept. 21, and culminate with a pitch competition on Nov. 2. Grants of up to $6,000, funded by M&T, will be awarded. 

Frank Micalizzi, M&T’s regional president and head of commercial banking for Bridgeport, said the program aims to have a positive impact not only on local businesses, but the community.

“Through our conversations with state and local officials, community leaders, academic institutions and many local business owners, we have worked together to deliver a proven approach that can help these businesses thrive and grow,” Micalizzi said, in an announcement.

State Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport, said diverse businesses often face unique challenges and hurdles.

“It is incumbent upon us to provide them with the tools they need,” Moore said.

M&T has previously launched the program in its New York and Pennsylvania markets, and is now expanding it to Connecticut.

To be eligible, participants must be Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx or Asian American. Additionally, their business can’t be older than three years, and their annual business revenue must be $150,000 or less.

Visit to apply. The application deadline is Aug. 5.

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

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