Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business program – an innovative applied-entrepreneurship certificate program designed for students to start or grow a business – just wrapped up an intensive semester.
The students had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF). The EEVF committee gave out $50,000 in seed funding in a virtual ceremony over Zoom on May 14, 2020.
Stacie Hargis, MCC’s Associate Professor of the Business Division, believes the program benefits students who are not ready for debt funding, but are seeking a “friends and family” round of funding without having access to it.
“This grant approach is filling a real market need for low to moderate-income everyday entrepreneurs within our ecosystem,” she said. “We believe this is a unique value proposition to MCC’s program and makes us a natural partner to the rest of the funding ecosystem. Local small business growth means jobs for local people – our friends, family and neighbors – and our community college.”
During the virtual ceremony, the students each had 10 minutes to present their business plans and 15 minutes to answer questions from the EEVF committee.
Students’ businesses invested in include:
- $17,000 invested in Fleek Beatz Beauty – seller of beauty products and services
- $10,000 invested in MoooWing Wings & Bar –fast/casual café & sports bar
- $7,500 invested in LoWellNess – wellness center
- $7,500 invested in WholeSoul Wellness – personal health coaching
- $5,000 invested in Kai Photography – photography studio
- $3,000 invested in Mello Bookkeeping – financial bookkeeping and consultancy for small businesses
Students will use this seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses over the course of 2020 and 2021.
Gabrielle Rodriguez is the owner of Fleek Beatz Beauty. While this was her first class at Middlesex, she is interested in taking more after her experience.
“MCC has not only provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to launch and grow a business, but the mindset that is required,” she said. “I highly recommend the course to anyone that is trying to start a business but doesn’t know how or where to start. The value within the education you receive in this accelerated course is priceless – completely changed my life.”
For Kai Rodriguez, of Kai Photography, she needed a boost to her business because she wasn’t ready to give up.
“I went and got exactly what I expected – more knowledge and hope in my future with my business,” she said. “MCC helped me reach my potential by allowing me to continue my business and put me on the right track as an entrepreneur.”
Aleksa Wilk, owner of WholeSoul Wellness, has been looking forward to taking the Launch Your Business Now course. She says although it took her three business ideas to find the one she wanted to pursue, she’s excited and proud to share it.
“Stacie Hargis has been working with me since the beginning,” she said. “She has been a wonderful resource to reach out to for classes, my career and this program. Franky [Descoteaux, an MCC adjunct faculty member] also very much inspired me on the first day I enrolled. I loved her energy and wanted to work with her.”
MCC’s 16-credit Launch Your Business Now certificate program was developed for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business they want to launch – or scale up – within four to 12 months.
Students who complete the Launch Your Business Now coursework are encouraged to pitch their business idea to the funding committee of the EEVF – who can award seed money in the form of competitive grants to support student businesses and help start-ups get off the ground.
EEVF is a committee of the Middlesex Community College Foundation.
For more information about MCC student businesses, MCC’s Launch Your Business Now certificate program, or the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund, visit http://www.launchatmcc.com or contact Stacie Hargis at email@example.com.
Visit http://www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for summer and fall courses at MCC. Discover your path at Middlesex Community College.
As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!