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Lynn Business Program Accelerates Access to Latinos

Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is expanding its Spanish Accelerator program, EparaTodos, in Lynn, which is aimed at providing Latino entrepreneurs with additional opportunities to launch and grow successful businesses.

The free EparaTodos Lynn program will now be offered in both the summer and winter and will run concurrently with the English EforAll Lynn program, a hybrid pilot that is also launching in Holyoke this summer.

EparaTodos already runs twice a year in Lawrence, but has only been offered during the winter in Lynn for the past years. In light of the continued coronavirus outbreak, this year’s summer session, which begins in July, will be held virtually.

“We understand that right now more than ever, with the crisis going on, many people are jobless and we needed to change that structure to serve more individuals,” said Janin Duran, executive director of EparaTodos Lawrence. “There’s a huge need for this type of program.

“Here in Lawrence, we get people even coming from Connecticut to take the class, people that drive 10 hours, people that come from New Hampshire and it’s because they can’t find this type of program in their own language,” Duran continued. “There’re so many Latinos in Lynn. They’re entrepreneurs and they tend to come to Lawrence. Why not provide something that’s closer to them for the entire year?”

The year-long program offers a combination of immersive business training, dedicated mentorship, and access to a professional network, according to its website. The program also includes pitch contests, where entrepreneurs share their business ideas and solicit feedback.

Separate instructors will lead the 12-week English and Spanish classes for the separate accelerator programs, but the showcase ceremony will be held together. The showcase is a celebration of the work the entrepreneurs have done during the accelerator program, according to Alejandra Galindo, program manager for EparaTodos Lynn.

“I think this a great opportunity for our community, for the Latin American community and also for the entrepreneurs,” said Galindo. “I think (in) the Latin American community, we’re facing a lot of challenges, especially at this moment. It fits perfectly with the situation we’re in now.”