New Training Program to Boost Small Business Support in the Commonwealth

Nov 12 2019
Cambridge College, Flyer Photo

Press Release:

BOSTON – November 12, 2019

A new partnership between Cambridge College, Mel King Institute for Community Building, and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) has formed an innovative program that will educate small business development officers throughout the Commonwealth.  The program will help accelerate the start up and growth of small businesses from under-invested communities served by MGCC.

The partners will offer the first cycle of this program starting in January 2020 to professionals that work at community development corporations, community development finance institutes and other non-profit community-based organizations that help entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses.  These non-profit organizations focus specifically on businesses led by people of color, immigrants and women as well as businesses located in lower income urban and rural areas.  The organizations also help entrepreneurs overcome key obstacles including a lack of access to capital, business networks, and formal business education.

“The dedicated professionals who work for these community-based organizations are knowledgeable about all aspects of starting and growing businesses in a range of sectors, from retail to service to construction. They also need to know how to coach and support our entrepreneurs during this process,” said Deborah Jackson, President of Cambridge College.  “This is not an easy task which is why this program is invaluable in that it is specifically designed to give entrepreneurs the knowledge, skills and professional networks required for them to thrive and succeed.”

The program will offer six full days of training in the Charlestown campus of Cambridge College.  The courses will be taught by faculty from Cambridge College, practitioners in the field and attorneys from the Lawyers for Civil Rights organization which provides free legal support to entrepreneurs. The program includes six modules ranging from business planning basics to marketing and brand management, to small business coaching.

Lawrence D. Andrews, President and CEO of Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation stated that “Small business development is critical to our state’s economic future.  MGCC is supporting this program because we know it will help our community-based and economic development partners across the state offer outstanding support to local entrepreneurs.”

This program is open to anyone working as a business counselor or technical assistance provider to small businesses.  Program partners anticipate that most of the participants will consist of employees from the 47 non-profit organizations that currently receive state funding from the Small Business Technical Assistance program administered by MGCC.  MGCC will support the implementation of this program to increase the technical capability of our statewide Technical Assistance Providers, which as result will allow them to effectively provide culturally appropriate resources and customized services to underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners.

 “We are excited about the innovative nature of this partnership among a local university, a quasi-public state agency and a non-profit organization like ours,” said Shirronda Almeida, Director of the Mel King Institute for Community Building.  “Our organization is dedicated to eliminating economic inequities based on race, gender and geography and we think this program – by helping more people start and grow successful businesses – will help us get there.”

To learn more about the business development training program visit:

                                                                                         Business Development Certificate Program at Cambridge College

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About Cambridge College

Cambridge College is dedicated to providing academically excellent, time-efficient, and cost-effective higher education for a diverse population of adult learners for whom these opportunities may have been limited or denied.  Founded in 1971, Cambridge College is a private non-profit institution of higher education accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  Recognized as a pioneer in providing quality affordable higher education to adult learners, Cambridge College offers flexible undergraduate and graduate degree programs across five locations nationwide in Boston, Springfield and Lawrence, MA, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Inland Empire, CA.  Its highly diverse student population consist of 68% females and 32% men with 63% of this population pursuing a degree part time on evenings and weekends. 

About MGCC

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation is a quasi-public organization created by the Massachusetts legislature with the purpose of creating and preserving jobs at small businesses, inclusive of those owned by women, minorities, immigrants and veterans. MGCC also works to promote economic development throughout the Commonwealth, with special paid attention to business needs in underserved areas, Gateway Cities and low to moderate income communities.

About Mel King Institute for Community Building

Mel King Institute for Community Building fosters vibrant and thriving Massachusetts communities by advancing the skills, knowledge and leadership ability of professional practitioners and volunteer leaders in the community development field. We leverage collaborative educational partnerships that increase access, encourage innovation, and promote and institutionalize systemic success. The Institute is a program of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations.


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