Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

Tuition-free Education to Help Our Customers Thrive

We are partnering with the ICIC, a Boston-based nonprofit, to offer our customers tuition-free, executive education that will help them be more successful business owners. ICIC’s nationally recognized small business programs are designed to support the growth of businesses in under-resourced communities. This partnership further expands the financial opportunity Forward offers customers, by including educational opportunity as well.

Up to $1,000 for Program Graduates

We believe in this so much, we're rewarding eligible customers who complete ICIC programs up to $1,000 on their current or next round of funding with us.*

Apply to an ICIC Program

Submit an application and schedule an interview with an ICIC representative.

Complete the Program

Attend all classes and submit any final projects (mentorship is optional).

Get Rewarded

Forward will provide up to $1,000 on the current or next round of funding.*

Building for Growth (BFG)

An executive education program designed to help Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)- owned and women-owned construction firms build sustainable growth strategies.

Learn More

Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC)

Executive leadership training program offered in cities across the U.S. This “mini-MBA” is for busy small businesses owners with operations located in under-resourced or economically-distressed areas. Receive a $2,000 capital grant from ICIC upon completion of 40 credit hours!*

Learn More

Check Out Our ICCC Webinar: What Is Revenue-Based Financing?

In this session, two members of the Forward team, Sara Sudbay, Director of Sales, and Jessica Roden, Senior Director of Marketing, share their knowledge about revenue-based financing and why it can be such a great option for small businesses.

Building Essential Tools and Connections

In 2022, the BFG and ICCC programs served nearly 1,000 small business owners. Many of which offered glowing reviews about their experience.

"I connected pro bono with construction lawyers who helped me add and refine clauses in my contracts to minimize risk. Building meaningful, lifelong relationships with the fellow BIPOC and woman entrepreneurs in my cohort was invaluable."
Wanona Satcher Founder & CEO of Makhers Studio
"BFG helped me learn the importance of strategically assessing and choosing opportunities that align with our company goals. We’ve already implemented systems that improved our contract negotiation protocols."
Jeysi Zuniga Founder & CEO of Synergy Contracting, Inc.
"Growth comes with knowledge, information, and connections, and that’s what the program gave us. The bonding class in particular did so much for us, helping my company secure a $3.5MM bond. I am very grateful."
David Delancy Owner & CEO of One Day Came Inc.
"ICCC has been an extremely beneficial program. They shared perspectives about my business that I hadn't thought about, and is challenging to think about, when engulfed in the day to day operations of a business."
Chad Rhodes Managing partner of The Rhodes Cos
"As small business owners, it's amazing how isolated we can become as we struggle to juggle many hats. ICCC put me in contact with others who could offer their expertise and help my business flourish."
Anna Maria Florio Owner of La Cucina at the Market


I don’t meet the criteria for these programs, but how do I learn about other educational opportunities?

If you’re not eligible for these programs but are interested in other educational programs complete this brief form, and we’ll keep you posted on future offerings.

Why did you choose to partner with the ICIC?

The ICIC’s mission to drive inclusive economic prosperity by supporting small businesses in under-resourced communities aligns well with our goal to offer financial opportunity to small businesses typically underserved by traditional financial institutions. Plus, we care about our customers and their success, and we believe the quality and nature of this programming will help them thrive.

Why is Forward incentivizing small business customers to take this program?

We feel strongly that business owners who have taken these courses will be more successful entrepreneurs, and that’s a win-win. So we’re willing to reward their commitment to becoming a more educated business owner.

How does the incentive from Forward work?

We believe in this so much, we’re offering eligible customers who complete an ICIC program up to $1,000 on their current balance or their next round of funding with us.* To qualify for the incentive, simply:

  1. Apply to an ICIC Program – Submit an application and schedule an interview with a BFG representative.
  2. Complete the Program – Attend all classes and submit any final projects, mentorship is optional.
  3. Get Rewarded – Forward will provide up to $1,000 on the current or next round of funding.