Merrimack Valley Credit Union Pledges $50,000 to Support Entrepreneurship on the South Coast

$10,000 per year to EforAll...
John Howard (right), President & CEO of Merrimack Valley Credit Union, presents a check for the organization’s first $10,000 donation to David Parker (left), Chief Executive Officer, EforAll. (Courtesy photo)

Merrimack Valley Credit Union, one of the 10 largest credit unions in Massachusetts, has pledged $50,000 to support EforAll, an organization that seeks to accelerate economic and social impact through entrepreneurship in mid-sized cities. For the next five years, Merrimack Valley Credit Union will provide $10,000 each year to the organization’s South Coast region, which focuses on Fall River and New Bedford, Mass.

“As an organization we have worked with for the past five years, we have seen firsthand how impactful EforAll has been in the community, helping residents start and grow their businesses,” said John Howard, President & CEO, Merrimack Valley Credit Union. “We are thrilled to partner with EforAll, as both our organizations are committed to increasing economic development in the region.” 

EforAll offered its first program in the South Coast in 2015, dedicating itself to helping both Fall River and New Bedford recover from economic decline as manufacturing jobs moved overseas. Partnering with the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the organization offers several programs to help community members start and grow businesses, including its Business Accelerator program, a free, one-year program that provides a unique combination of immersive business training, mentorship and access to an extended professional network, and pitch contests to help early-stage entrepreneurs gain valuable exposure and feedback on a business idea.

“EforAll is proud of its longstanding relationship with Merrimack Valley Credit Union, dating back to the inception of EforAll,” said David Parker, Chief Executive Officer, EforAll. “Now, Merrimack Valley Credit Union has taken its support to a whole new level with a five-year funding pledge. We could not provide entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to turn their ideas into profitable businesses without the backing of partners like Merrimack Valley Credit Union.”

Merrimack Valley Credit Union has been involved with EforAll since it launched in 2014. The organization’s President & CEO previously served on EforAll’s first Advisory Board and later as Chair of EforAll’s South Coast Advisory Board. Merrimack Valley Credit Union has also sent staff to EforAll training, participated in pitch contests and coached businesses in the Business Accelerator program.

Merrimack Valley Credit Union has also worked with EforAll and its Spanish program, EparaTodos, in the Lawrence and Lowell region. Team members have hosted workshops about understanding credit in Spanish, and the organization recently sponsored EparaTodos’ Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Gala.

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