With the goal of impacting San Antonio’s Southside business community with real-world education and practices, The Bank of San Antonio has announced a partnership with Texas A&M University–San Antonio (A&M-SA) to launch the STRIDE Entrepreneurship Leadership program. The hands-on business training is free of charge. STRIDE stands for the six key pillars of a founder’s success: Strength, Tenacity, Resolve, Impact, Disruption and Empowerment.
“STRIDE will bring more equity and capital access to entrepreneurs and will demystify the banking practices that can prohibit some business owners from much-needed financial solutions for growth,” says Brandi Vitier, market executive at The Bank of San Antonio. “We are also increasing focus on our Express Business Lending program for small businesses.”
The program begins in September 2022 through A&M–SA’s Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders. The business management curriculum will be co-taught by A&M–SA professors and banking experts from The Bank of San Antonio. The course materials of entrepreneurial development will support small- to medium-business owners who want to develop their leadership and knowledge of available financial solutions, along with best practices for business growth.
“Texas A&M University–San Antonio is in the business of enriching our community. With a wonderful collaborative partner like The Bank of San Antonio, our ability to do that is amplified, our reach is extended and our potential for positive impact on the community is even greater,” says Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of A&M–San Antonio. “Presenting the STRIDE Entrepreneurship Leadership program aligns with A&M–San Antonio’s commitment to creating transformative and equitable opportunities and educational experiences that enrich lives and the community.”
“STRIDE is a game-changer for many businesses who strive to expand, but may not know where to turn,” says Angelica Palm, senior vice president, marketing and communication director at Texas Partners Bank. “Entrepreneurs will learn best practices from local business owners and professors. We will be there in class with them, providing connection to bankers, mentors and other key industry leaders.”
In spring 2023, The Bank of San Antonio will introduce a curriculum focusing on female entrepreneurs. The programs are receiving support from business owners and business organizations across the city, including the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Southside Chamber of Commerce, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, SAGE and the BEAM Angel Network.
“Our talented professors are creating a curriculum for success, and we are proud to launch this program on the Southside,” says Dr. Mari Fuentes-Martin, vice president of student success and engagement, A&M–San Antonio. “The result of this program will help entrepreneurs find their stride through action, tools and resources.”
From 2009, when Texas A&M University–San Antonio became a standalone university, to 2017 enrollment grew 340 percent. The university currently serves nearly 6,500 students and has graduated more than 8,000 alumni. The student body is 60 percent female and 72 percent Hispanic, and approximately 77 percent of students are the first in their family to attend college.
Established in 2007, The Bank of San Antonio is a business-to-business lender with a primary focus on small to mid-size companies in Bexar County. In 2020, The Bank of San Antonio merged with The Bank of Austin and Texas Hill Country Bank into Texas Partners Bank.
Pictured above: The STRIDE program founders—Brandi Vitier, The Bank of San Antonio market executive; Patti Wilson, Texas Partners Bank chief human resources officer; and Angelica Palm, Texas Partners Bank marketing and communications director.