MCC Students Receive $50k in Funding to Help Launch Businesses
Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program were awarded $50,000 in seed funding by the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF) on Dec 19 at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell. From left to right: Katie Tarlin of Dover, MA; Tara Oslan of Lowell, MA; Michelle Roose of Brockton, MA; Cristina Hernando of Lawrence, MA; Franky Descoteaux, Adjunct Professor; Colleen Doucette of Billerica, MA with Baby Doucette; and Stacie Hargis, Professor. Photo credit: Romany Photography of Lowell
Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program, an innovative applied-entrepreneurship certificate program designed for students to start or grow a business, just wrapped up an intensive semester and 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 on December 19th at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell. Students will use this seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses over the course of 2020.
- Invested $10,000 in Allure Mobile Styles – future mobile hair salon for Greater Lowell
- Invested a $10,000 match in EkoBon – a future sustainable packaging manufacturer
- Follow on Instagram @eko_bon
- Invested $15,000 in HER Massage Therapy – massage therapy clinic in Lawrence, MA
- Follow on Instagram @hermassagetherapy
- Invested $15,000 in What the Fork Catering – catering and future cafe in Billerica, MA
- Follow on Instagram @what_the_fork_catering
In Spring of 2018, MCC was 1 of 4 community colleges in the nation to receive a $250,000 grant to create a unique venture fund that offered non-equity seed grants called the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund (EEVF). We split the fund over 4 semesters, creating a $50,000 pool each semester (Fall 2018 – Spring 2020).
The EEVF funding committee is comprised of members of the MCC Foundation, members of the business community, and MCC administration whom decide distribution of the seed money. Our local ecosystem has a strong group of institutions providing access to debt funding. What is missing, particularly for students attracted to our program, is the “friends and family” round of funding. They are not ready for debt funding, and do not have the friends and family resource network to come up with the initial investment required to get their businesses off the ground. This grant approach is filling a real market need for low to moderate-income everyday entrepreneurs within our ecosystem. 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.
Launched in the Fall 2018, MCC has completed three semesters which resulted in three cohorts (17 businesses)
- 15 of those students requested funding from the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund
- 7 were Pre-Start-Up (within 1 year of start-up)
- 5 Start-Up (business operating/generating revenue)
- 3 were Established (is/was profitable and employing at least 1 FTE)
73%, (11) of those students who completed were women, 52% (8) were minority and 47% (7) were minority women. 60% (9) of the businesses that were launched or grown over the course of the year were located in Lowell.
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. “Someone who is naturally entrepreneurial just wants to get started,” said Stacie Hargis, MCC’s Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator. “This is why we’ve designed the program to be completed in one intensive, action-oriented semester, to support students developing a business concept with a solid foundation for success.”
For more information about MCC student businesses, MCC’s new Launch Your Business Now Certificate Program, or the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund, visit: www.launchatmcc.com or contact Stacie Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org.