Multicultural Small Business Lab & Pitch Competition

At M&T Bank, we believe multicultural small businesses are an integral part of our communities.  We are committed to the growth, future and empowerment of these businesses and provide information, tools, resources, and connections to accelerate their efforts.

Program Highlights

The M&T Bank Multicultural Small Business Lab is an intensive, weeks-long program designed to develop racially and ethnically diverse owners of businesses. The Lab promotes business and financial inclusion through empowerment, providing owners with much-needed access to information, tools, resources, and connections they need to grow and thrive. Participants are presented with tools and opportunities to increase their visibility, accelerate their business, and achieve success.

Creating a Business Plan

Learn what it takes to create an effective business plan through discussion on setting goals, knowing your industry, what finances you have in place, and much more!

All About Credit

Do you need to understand more about credit and how it can affect your business? With M&T small business multicultural lab, we will dive into the importance of credit, accessing capital and how you package your credit application.

Marketing & Branding

Learn how to make your business stand-out among the competition through an in-depth discussion on branding and marketing so you can be prepared to get the word out on your diverse business. 

Pitch Tips

You have everything that you need to scale and grow your business, but your business needs funding. As part of the series, we will provide you tips and tricks when presenting to potential investors. Learn how to present with ease and how to make your business plan shine.

Cash Prize Pitch Competition

Once course work is finalized, all participants will have the opportunity to participate in Phase I of the competition and present their business proposal. A select few, based on judging criteria, will be asked to proceed to Phase II where they will have a chance to win cash prizes. 

To learn more about the competition, please visit your local area's terms & conditions.

Participating Cities

Interested in participating in one of our upcoming Multicultural Small Business Labs? Check out the details in your area. Your area not shown? Keep checking back. We will continue to add more locations.


We are continually looking at new areas to have our next Multicultural Small Business Lab. Keep checking back for new locations.

Yes, you must be the principal owner of the business and reside within the program area.

Yes, you must be a resident of the program area and the principal owner. Please refer to the specific terms and conditions on your local registration page. View current locations here.

Visit your location page where all details are provided. If interested, you can register on your location page. View current locations here.

No, only a select few participants will win a cash prize after a two-phased judging competition. To learn more, please visit your specific locations terms & conditions.

Highlights from Previous Events

Businesses in Buffalo, NY and Harrisburg, PA had a great time at our kick-off events.

Hear from past participants

“ ‘Ideas meet opportunity’. So glad M&T (& Harrisburg University) saw fit to choose Harrisburg as the 2nd stop for their Multicultural Small Business Lab. Harrisburg is a tough place for minority business startups. But, with a little help, guidance, and access to resources….anything is possible. Can’t wait to make my pitch for my business during week 6!” 

Cathy Hall
Urban Links Unlimited, LLC.

“A business plan is like a map that allows you to see where you’re going and what all to expect along the journey.”

Daiyana Ritter
The Real Dai, LLC.

“I was so happy to see how excited everyone is to be a part of such an amazing opportunity. The staff was extremely welcoming and informative. What stood out the most was the number of successful business owners that are attending. They understood that there is always room for growth even as a successor.”

Brittany Scott
Property Jewels