August 22, 2017

Al Goldberg, founder of Mess Hall, which provides up-and-coming food entrepreneurs with commercial kitchens and related services in northeast Washington, D.C., had been wrestling with options to expand his business. With the help of a novel program that will start Sept. 20 at The Catholic University of America, he’ll have access to the kind of new business insights, tailored mentoring, and expanded business and capital connections which should accelerate his growth.

Mess Hall, IT WORKS!, RJ Electric Works, The Sweet Lobby, and Souk, are among more than 100 small businesses in the D.C. area that will participate in the opening day of the Inner City Capital Connections program (ICCC) hosted by the University’s Busch School of Business and Economics. (To view a video about Mess Hall and ICCC, click here.)

The Busch School of Business and Economics is launching ICCC in partnership with Boston’s Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). Since 2005, alumni of the program have had an average of 184% growth in revenue, created more than 12,000 jobs, and raised more than $1.4 billion in capital.

To date, approximately 70% of the participating businesses in the ICCC program at Catholic University are minority-owned; 40% are owned by women. They represent more than 10 different industries. On average, they have been in business for more than 10 years and have an annual revenue of more than $3 million.

Participants in the Sept. 20 executive education workshops will hear from experts about strategy,  sales and marketing, small business finance, and human capital and culture, among other topics. Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School, and founder and chairman of ICIC, will lead one of the workshops.

In November, the participants will regroup in New York for a two-day capital matching conference. Over the course of the program, participants will continue with webinars and will be matched with mentors, including D.C. area business owners and faculty members of the Busch School of Business and Economics.

Goldberg says that the proximity of the school as well as access to an “intense program that can offer so much in such a little amount of time is the perfect opportunity for a person like myself. ... This concept of [an] ‘MBA on steroids’ is exactly what I need.”

ICCC is a national program designed to help small businesses in economically-distressed areas build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability, and employment. The Busch School of Business and Economics is the first organization to execute the program locally and the first business school in the country to collaborate with ICIC on a broader vision of the program.

MEDIA: To schedule an interview or attend this event, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600.

The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University comprises 12 schools and 26 research facilities and is home to 3,241 undergraduate and 2,835 graduate students.

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