On Monday the inaugural class of East Boston Main Street (EBMS) Small Business Institute (SBI) convened at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center on Addison Street. A full complement of adult students, some current small business owners, others aspiring business owners, convened at 9:00 a.m. in the training facilities of the Health Center for the first class of a year-long training curriculum developed by EBMS and supported by a grant from Citizens Bank and the Boston Main Streets Foundation.
“What we are attempting with this initiative is to bring high quality training opportunities to members of our local micro business community in a way that is immediately accessible and relevant to their needs,” said Max Gruner, executive director of EBMS.
With 20 students signed-up for the yearlong curriculum and a waiting list of over 10 additional students, the initial interest in the Small Business Institute exceeded expectations.
“We are so pleased by the community’s interes.t in this program and are excited that our vision of building capacity within our business community through high quality adult education seems to resonate with business owners in East Boston,” said Michelle Brown-Droese, director of the SBI at EBMS.
Meeting every third Monday, the project-based curriculum developed by EBMS will provide participants the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship with content experts in-between classes.
“We are determined to provide class participants with the knowledge and resources to develop and create tangible results that they can immediately apply to their business ventures, whether it be a business plan, a website, or a marketing strategy,” explained Gruner.
EBMS is currently considering running a second, yearlong institute for the students currently on the wait-list who were unable to be included in the first cohort.
“We were surprised by the number of applications we received; we are now looking at the logistics of running a second class in parallel with the first because there is clearly a need for this kind of programming in East Boston,” said Brown-Droese.
Victor Mosquera, owner of the soon to open Taste of Eastie Coffee Shop at 75 Meridian Street puts it best, “What a great opportunity. This was a fantastic class. I wish all business owners in Eastie had the opportunity to attend.”