In September of this year, not only did EforAll announce its new name, but that the organization will be looking to add new locations in Massachusetts and beyond. On December 18th, EforAll, in partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development & the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, announced that it will be launching in the South Coast region of Massachusetts.
To celebrate this launch, EforAll and its partners invited South Coast community leaders across various sectors to take part in a discussion on how EforAll can be a catalyst for social and economic change in the region. The event featured speakers including Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Gregory Bialecki. “Entrepreneurship for all is not merely a slogan, it is part of a robust strategy for how we grow the Commonwealth’s economy,” said Secretary Bialecki.
Desh Deshpande of the Deshpande Foundation then talked about the positive effects of community-based entrepreneurship . “EforAll is an example of a simple but very powerful idea,” said Desh. “By bringing the community together to support local entrepreneurs, everybody wins – entrepreneurs get much needed help launching their ventures, while the local economy gets a boost by creating businesses and non-profits that are committed to staying local.”
Pamela Goldberg, the CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, shared about her excitement for the new partnership with EforAll. Steve Tello, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at UMass Lowell (UML), discussed the partnership with EforAll, and how it has helped UML’s students look at entrepreneurship as a viable career path. Perhaps the most powerful speech came from Mickey Cockrell. She shared with audience members on how EforAll helped Catie’s Closet scale to provide hundreds of homeless school children with basic necessities.
To conclude the event, David Parker, the Executive Director for EforAll, facilitated a discussion with audience members about how EforAll can help create impact in the South Coast region. Entrepreneurs, heads of non-profits, and leaders of area-universities all shared their excitement for EforAll and how the community can serve as the driving force for entrepreneurship.
EforAll will officially roll out programming in the region over the early part of 2015, working with many local South Coast leaders. “I am eager to connect with entrepreneurs, mentors, partners, and business experts in the South Coast region,” said David Parker. “As EforAll has done in Lowell/Lawrence, EforAll in the South Coast will raise the excitement, awareness, and impact of entrepreneurship on the local economy.”