It’s understandably an anxious time for Main Street businesses, even as downtowns prepare to reopen. But what about the entrepreneurs who are still hanging onto their dreams of starting a retail business? It stands to reason that hopelessness – or at least a plan B – would start to set in.
“Quite the contrary,” says Bob Brennan, chairman of the National Expansion Council and one of the directors of a nonprofit organization called Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) based in Boston, Massachusetts. “I don’t get a sense of desperation from our people at all, because our entrepreneurs have been dealing in the land of scarcity for a long time. They don’t have VC funds. They know they can’t start a business by investing ahead of revenue. They know they need to make their dreams work right now, not a year from now.”
According to Brennan, EforAll is a growing nonprofit organization that partners with communities to help under-resourced entrepreneurs start and grow a business through intensive business training, mentorship and an extended professional support network. To date, EforAll alumni have launched more than 350 businesses and created more than 680 local jobs. EforAll is currently limited to nine Massachusetts counties and towns as well as Longmont, Colorado, but its model is built for expansion.