New Clothing Line, Bilingual Arts Daycare, and Empowering Artists

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Three local entrepreuners share how Cambridge Community Classroom Program helped them develop their businesses.

  • Ebi Poweigha - Raaw Atalanta
  • Erin M Harris
  • Carmen Cohen
Cambridge Community Classroom 2015 Graduates

“Starting your own business can be lonely,” according to Pardis Saffari of the Cambridge Community Development Department. “One of the benefits of participating in the Cambridge Community Classroom Program is connecting entrepreneurs so they can provide support to each other as they develop their businesses.”

I had a chance to connect with three of the 15 female Cambridge entrepreneurs who graduated in December from the ten week business planning program, which was offered by the City of Cambridge in collaboration with the Center for Women and Enterprise. The Program was a combination of workshops on financing, business concept and marketing, and one-on-one assistance.

According to Carmen Cohen, business concept: bilingual arts-based daycare center, “In addition to helping me identify exactly where I want to start and what I need to do in order to develop my businesses, the class also gave me networking opportunities and I met a lot of people who will be very helpful.”

“Participating in the entrepreneurship workshop was incredible!” says Ebi Poweigha, business concept: Raaw Atalanta Plus Size Women’s Clothing Line. “Not only did I get to meet women in my community at the early stages of starting their own businesses -- which is surprisingly hard to find -- but I learned so much about the reality of starting a business. In class we got specific information, both for our business ideas and about other people's successful businesses.

Erin M. Harris, business concept: creative agency focused on empowering artists, comments “The class was an excellent overview - it covered all the essential areas of starting a business with a fair amount of depth in each area, and demonstrated how they all relate to each other. Participating in the class also provided a support system for us as we developed our business plans.”

This interview with Pardis ​Saffari provides an overview of the Cambridge Community Classroom Program, which is just one of the services and programs, many free or low-cost, offered by the Economic Development Division of our City’s Community Development Department (CDD). Learn more about how you can take advantage of this and other programs and sign up for the e-newsletter at: www.cambridgema.gov/business

Follow CDD on Twitter @CDDat344

Contact and learn more about these local entrepreneurs' businesses: