Multicultural Small Business Labs

Buffalo, NY

Our next Multicultural Small Business Lab will kick off on Tuesday, November 15th and run every Tuesday evening through December 20th.

Registration Now Closed

(Registration ends October 31, 2022)

Program Highlights

M&T Bank’s Multicultural Small Business Lab is an intensive weeks long program designed to help to empower, develop and scale racially and ethnically diverse small businesses. It aims to promote business and financial inclusion through empowerment, providing diverse owners the much-needed access to information, tools, resources, and connections they need to grow and thrive. The lab’s mission is to present an opportunity for multicultural businesses 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.

Innovation Lab Overview

The M&T Multicultural Innovation Lab celebrates and empowers local multicultural owned small businesses through education and a spirited competition. For the Buffalo edition, we will be partnering with the Canisius College. The location for this 6-week program will be at the Canisius College Science Hall:

Canisius College
Science Hall
2001 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14208

Registration Now Closed

(Registration ends October 31, 2022)

Program Eligibility

Open to existing Multicultural small business owners and hopeful Multicultural small business owners in the planning/concept phase (e.g. Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American) – in accordance to local demographics.

  • Been in business less than 36 months
  • Average annual revenues of $150K or less


  • 6-week course presented by M&T Bank professionals and community partners
  • Beginning November 15th, 2022
  • Course ends December 20th, 2022
  • In-Person Attendance
  • 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday evenings


  • Business Planning (1 session)
  • Credit Fundamentals (2 sessions)
  • Marketing & Branding (1 session)
  • Networking & Community Resources (1 session)
  • Business Valuation (1 session)
  • Virtual self-service coursework to be delivered through M&T Tech Academy (where available)


Pitch Competition

  • First Round: 2-minute video with written answers
  • Second Round: 5 finalists will conduct a 3-minute pitch with a 2-minute Q&A
  • Prizes:
    • 1st place - $10,000
    • 2nd place - $6,000
    • 3rd place - $4,000

Upcoming Programs

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.


You must be a resident of the city where the lab is being held. Please refer to the specific location terms and conditions.

Yes, the principal owner needs to be a permanent legal residents of the City of Buffalo, New York. See terms and conditions.

We are open to different kinds of multicultural – racially & ethnically diverse small owned businesses (e.g. Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American ). To qualify, the principal owner must be 18 years or older, a permanent legal residents of the City of Buffalo, New York, be in business for 36 months or less, and have a annual business revenue of $150,000 or less. See terms and conditions.

Registration is now closed.

No, you will be provided the tools to build your own.


The preliminary judging (Round I) will be on or about December 6, 2022. Five Finalists will proceed to the final pitch (Round II) to be held at the graduation event on or about December 20, 2022. The competition is open to any business participating in the M&T Bank Multicultural Small Business Lab with a principal owner who is a permanent legal resident of the City of Buffalo, New York and is 18 years of age or older as of the date of the Competition. Employees, officers, directors, agents, contractors and representatives of Sponsor, Canisius College, and their affiliates, advertising and promotions agencies (the “Released Parties”), and such persons’ immediate family members and members of their households are ineligible to participate in the Competition. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. No business may win more than one prize. First Prize will consist of a $10,000 check. Second Prize will consist of a $6,000 check. Third Prize will consist of a $4,000 check. Sponsored by M&T Bank.

©2022 M&T Bank. Member FDIC.