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University of Phoenix and U.S. Black Chambers to Pilot Step Up Entrepreneurs Program

Opportunity connects entrepreneurs in select markets with USBC experts, resources and training

PHOENIX and WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 20, 2015 — University of Phoenix® School of Business and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), today announced a new educational training program for USBC members and African-American small business owners. The USBC Step Up Entrepreneurs Program, powered by University of Phoenix, includes a three-course, 15-week credit-bearing component that includes online classroom instruction taught by University of Phoenix School of Business faculty, and takes students through courses including personal cash flow, market analyses and financial performance.

Students will create their business plans following completion of the courses to develop a business model, strategy, financial forecasts, competition benchmarks and implementation and performance tracking. Starting in January 2016, the program will begin in five major cities throughout USBC’s regions across the country and is backed by a $500,000 grant from University of Phoenix.

“University of Phoenix is pleased to partner with USBC to provide African-American small business owners and entrepreneurs with an exclusive opportunity, integrating teachings from business courses with insights from local market experts who understand the economy in their communities,” said Byron Jones, chief financial officer, University of Phoenix. “The U.S. Black Chambers Entrepreneur program allows participants to experience some of the most challenging exercises business owners undergo with the training, support and counsel they need from seasoned professionals with demonstrated success in owning and managing a business.”

At the start of each course, participants are encouraged to attend an in-person micro workshop with a local USBC expert on topics such as accounting and finance, marketing, operations and customer service. A key component of this opportunity includes the creation of a feasibility plan that can be submitted for either a traditional bank or micro plan partner. Students who complete the courses will earn nine hours of college credit, which can be applied towards a certificate or degree program at University of Phoenix.

“Gaining access to capital continues to be a major hurdle for African-American small business owners, and properly navigating that process is often the difference between success and failure,” said Ron Busby, Sr., president, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. “We are excited to collaborate with University of Phoenix on the U.S. Black Chambers Step Up Entrepreneurs program to help provide needed resources to support Black entrepreneurs, and believe it is an excellent example of local leaders and educators working together to improve the lives of our citizens and communities.”

“University of Phoenix is committed to discovering and developing the next generation of African-American business leaders, and with nearly ten percent of University of Phoenix alumni survey respondents reporting they currently own a business, the collaboration with USBC small business owners is a natural fit,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean, University of Phoenix School of Business. “Knowledge and training drive success. That’s why the select courses in the USBC Entrepreneur program, will provide participants relevant skills that can positively and quickly impact their businesses.”

For more information about University of Phoenix School of Business certificate and degree programs, visit For more information about USBC, visit

About University of Phoenix School of Business
University of Phoenix School of Business offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that prepare students to be creative problem solvers for the new economy. The School of Business also offers non-degree programs, including certificates, individual courses and non-credit professional development. Doctoral programs are available through the School for Advanced Studies. To learn more about University of Phoenix School of Business programs, visit

About U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC)
The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) provides committed, visionary leadership and advocacy in the realization of economic empowerment. Through the creation of resources and initiatives, we support African American Chambers of Commerce and business organizations in their work of developing and growing Black enterprises. An association of more than 100 self-sustaining viable Black Chambers and small business associations nationwide. The USBC serves close to 250,000 small businesses. “The infrastructure of the USBC allows for a quick mobilization of messaging and support in all 50 states.” The USBC is headquartered in DC, has five regional directors, and 115 Black Chamber Associations. More information can be found at

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of  Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit