Inside Stories

SBA Adds $200k to CTI Entrepreneurship Center

Lowell, MA – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently awarded Community Teamwork Inc. $200K for the sake of funding its Entrepreneurship Center.

The funding will allow staff of the Entrepreneurship Center to work with entrepreneurs on developing their financial capacity to increase their business viability by hosting trainings, seminars, and peer-to-peer learning. Staff will also use the funding to offer expanded opportunities to constituents of the center to access technical assistance services in a linguistically accessible and culturally competent design.

The Entrepreneurship Center, formerly known as the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center, was founded in 1998 to provide technical assistance for low and very low-income entrepreneurs to help them create, sustain and grow micro-enterprises. Since its rebranding into the Entrepreneurship Center in 2019, its services have expanded through out Middlesex and Essex County, and refocused its program offerings and service model to better serve the diverse needs of its disadvantaged micro-enterprise clients.

The Prime Grant was created as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999, also known as the PRIME Act. This act authorized the SBA to establish a program for the purposes of providing training and technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs, providing training and capacity building assistance to microenterprise development organizations (MDOs) and programs, aiding in research and development of best practices for microenterprise and technical assistance programs for disadvantaged entrepreneurs, and for other activities as determined by the SBA.

“We are thrilled to receive this SBA Prime grant.  It will enable us to expand our work to help our local small businesses, especially those who are low income and disadvantaged, thrive in our community”, stated Charles Smith, Director of the Entrepreneurship Center.

The SBA was founded back in 1953 under the administration of President Eisenhower alongside the signing of the Small Business Act. It offers programs that cover federal contracting and business development, entrepreneurial development, and lending services, all for the sake of supporting small businesses across the country.

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