New Organization Comes To Buffalo To Support Established Small Businesses For Free
Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), the nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate economic and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurs Forever (eforever), a nonprofit focused on supporting established small businesses, announces their partnership with the nonprofit Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) to launch their free programs in Buffalo this fall. Together, these organizations will work to provide under-represented individuals with the training and support needed to start, grow and sustain their businesses.
“There’s a great need for organizations like EforAll and eforever in our community, especially as we aim to recover from the pandemic’s impact,” said BNMC CEO Matt Enstice. “A survey conducted by Buffalo Niagara Partnership (BNP) found that 93% of Buffalo area businesses have seen a revenue decline, most by 50%. Through the implementation of these organizations, we will be able to revitalize our region and build a more equitable place for future startups, beyond the technology industry.”
To help launch these initiatives, BNMC connected with financial partners, including lead sponsor KeyBank. “EforAll and eforever are exceptional organizations that will bring dreams to life and bring great opportunity and transformational change to the community,” said Elizabeth Gurney, Director of Corporate Philanthropy at KeyBank and Executive Director of the First Niagara Foundation. “We’re thrilled to work alongside BNMC to bring these initiatives to Buffalo, and remain dedicated to supporting our citizens, investing in their future, strengthening our regional economy and helping Buffalo and all of the communities we serve thrive.”
EforAll helps to start and grow small businesses or nonprofits across a wide range of industries, including personal and professional services, food, retail, manufacturing and technology. The program offers a unique combination of immersive business training, dedicated mentorship from local business and community leaders, and access to a large professional network – along with the opportunity to win seed money.
To oversee EforAll Buffalo, former External Affairs manager for the City Hall Division of Citizens Services, Juweria Dahir, has been hired as the Executive Director. In her former role, Dahir served as a liaison between various city departments and nearly 500 block clubs, identifying and implementing neighborhood development projects from beautification to restoration initiatives.
“EforAll has done inspiring work for various communities in the U.S.,” said Dahir. “I’m eager to lead this organization in Buffalo as we have many talented and creative entrepreneurs who simply need the support and training that only a program like EforAll can deliver. My priority will be to seek out like-minded community partners who share our vision for a more inclusive and entrepreneurial Buffalo.”
Among the over 500 businesses started by EforAll participants, 74% are owned by women, 58% are owned by people of color, 46% are owned by immigrants, and 39% are owned by people who were previously unemployed. These businesses generated over $25M in revenue and created 720 local jobs in 2019.
With a successful track record of helping established small businesses in their continued growth and development, eforever will provide support to existing Buffalo businesses through professionally moderated monthly peer-to-peer group meetings. Peer group members share their entrepreneurial journey with others on a similar path and work through a progressive three-year competency program, ensuring that they build necessary skills for long-term success. Together, these nonprofits will service local communities to build thriving businesses and neighborhoods.
“Over the past eight years, we’ve served entrepreneurs in 27 communities in Southwestern Pennsylvania, including our recent expansion into Massachusetts, connecting small business owners with the people and skills they need to thrive,” said A.J. Drexler, CEO at eforever. “We’re excited to extend the same support to Buffalo, as they recover from the pandemic.”
On May 4, BNMC hosted a press conference announcing the forthcoming launch of these initiatives. Attendees included EforAll CEO David Parker, eforever CEO A.J. Drexler, KeyBank Corporate Responsibility Manager Kawanza Humphrey, Dean at the University of Buffalo Robert Shibley, and others.
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