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Harrisburg, PA – This month, M&T Bank launched its third Multicultural Small Business Innovation Lab, in partnership with The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), powered by Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU), as the chosen venue. This seven-week program will invite area business owners to HU’s campus for weekly learning sessions, with topics including business planning, networking, accessing capital, branding and marketing, and how to build credit.

First established in 2022, the program is designed to provide networking, training, and ongoing support to multicultural business owners who want to develop their skills, build businesses that last, contribute to economic development in the Capital Region, and create generational wealth for their families.

At the conclusion of the Small Business Lab in June, participating entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges for the chance to win one of three grant prizes furnished by M&T Bank ($5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 for first, second, and third places, respectively), to help get their entrepreneurial dreams off the ground. Judges are community and business representatives chosen according to their impact in the region and their history of effecting positive change.

“The mission of the Multicultural Small Business Lab is to create a more resilient community. We want to equip this year’s participants with the knowledge, resources, and tools they need to grow their businesses, spur economic activity, and create generational wealth,” said Nora Habig, M&T Bank’s regional president for Central and Western Pennsylvania. “We’re proud that our partnership with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship continues to serve as a catalyst for those looking to make a positive impact on our community.”

Jay Jayamohan, CIE’s executive director, said, “CIE and M&T Bank are all about turning dreams into concepts and solutions into businesses. Our Multicultural Lab is a testament to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and turning ideas into success stories.”

Entrepreneurs who wish to participate in the program must satisfy three eligibility requirements. They must not have been in business for more than three years, their annual business revenue must be less than $350,000, and they must be multicultural business owners who reside in the Capital Region of Pennsylvania.

In 2022, CIE and M&T Bank received a coveted Catalyst Award from the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Company for their work on the Multicultural Small Business Lab. The Catalyst Awards recognize dynamic leadership, unique organizations, and standout efforts that bring new opportunities to the region.

In October 2023, M&T Bank further strengthened its relationship with HU with a generous donation to help fund CIE into the future and continue its mission of community-building and resource development for minority- and women-owned businesses.

Both HU and CIE take great pride in empowering founders who have roots in Harrisburg and Pennsylvania, and who are invested in meeting needs and solving problems right here in the Capital Region. Everyone benefits when our underserved communities have the means to share their voice and ideas, along with strong support networks to remind entrepreneurs that they’re not alone in their journey.


M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, provides banking products and services in 12 states across the northeastern U.S. from Maine to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Trust-related services are provided in select markets in the U.S. and abroad by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. For more information about M&T Bank, visit


Harrisburg University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a private, nonprofit university offering bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in the fields of science, technology, and mathematics. For additional information about the University’s affordable, demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, please call 717-901-5146 or email Stay updated by following Harrisburg University on XLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook.