Cape Organizations Recieve $100K in Grant Funding to Build Entrepreneurship

Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash announces $100,000 in grant funding for a Cape Cod Young Professionals and EforAll Cape Cod partnership to help entrepreneurs in the region. Also pictured, is Lauren Barker, the CEO of CCYP, left, and Christin Marshall, the executive director of EforAll Cape Cod.

YARMOUTH – Cape Cod Young Professionals is teaming with Entrepreneurs for All Cape Cod to work to foster entrepreneurship in the region.

The partnership has been awarded a $100,000 MassTech grant, which was announced Monday in Yarmouth by Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.

The grant will fund the launch of a new multi-week accelerator program from EforAll designed to nurture business development and pitch events to provide seed funding to entrepreneurs with ideas for new businesses or social impact nonprofits.

CCYP and EforAll will recruit and develop a network of local volunteer mentors who can help startups grow into sustainable businesses.

EforAll is new to Cape Cod launching on July 2. The nonprofit started to support entrepreneurship as a means to achieving economic and social impact in communities outside of Greater Boston.

CCYP CEO Lauren Barker says EforAll has had success in other areas across the state, including Lowell and New Bedford.

“The difference with ours is that it will leverage the resources and the partnership here on Cape Cod with CCYP to provide support before, during and after the completion of that accelerator program,” Barker said.

Program participants will receive a complementary business membership with CCYP and organizational support.

“We’ll be spotlighting their business and pushing it out through all of our networks and channels,” Barker said.

CCYP has a strong social media presence on Cape Cod with an audience of followers greater than 8,000 people.

“We look to really leverage that and try to provide the benefits directly back to these startups,” Barker said.

EforAll Cape Cod Executive Director Christin Marshall said the partnership allows the organization to tap into a larger network and have a bigger microphone across the region.

Secretary Ash says the state has seen businesses grow out of these types of centers and mentorship programs and do well on their own over the last three to four years.

“We are here to provide you with support, but we are also here to thank you for doing what we would like to do, which is to broaden the economic prospects of the entire Cape to make a place that is really known for tourism a place that will be known for work around the ‘Blue Economy’ and know for supporting startups and small businesses,” Ash said.

Barker said the program is expected to be started within the next month, as soon as it receives the go-ahead from MassTech.

Started in Lowell in 2010 as the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, EforAll is a nonprofit designed to support entrepreneurship as a means to achieving economic and social impact in communities outside of Greater Boston.

Founded by noted technology entrepreneur Desh Deshpande, EforAll has received support from MassTech and the Commonwealth dating back to an initial $150,000 award in 2014 to pilot mentoring programs in Lowell and Lawrence.

The success of that initial award led to an expansion of EforAll’s programs to the South Coast region around Fall River and New Bedford, a three-year effort funded by an award of $1 million in 2015.

Each year of the grant, EforAll’s South Coast program has engaged over 1,000 community members, assisted 150-plus businesses, and graduated 30-plus entrepreneurs from its accelerator program, building an extensive network of program alumni in the process.

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