Regular Club Meeting
November 5 2020
via Zoom
Guest Speaker Lianna Kushi, Executive Director of Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) in Lowell & Lawrence

Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley

Regular Club Meeting via Zoom

November 5, 2020

Pledge and Words - Laura Spear

Happy/Sad fines—don’t forget to Zelle to or mail fines to PO Box 322, Stow 01775

Chris S - sad about masks in public anywhere in public, happy election is over; Rich - happy for weather coming up, sad because it won’t last; Emily - happy to meet group and have new opportunities to volunteer; Tom - happy to be part of the group; Laura - happy for sunshine and warm weather; Chris M - happy about weather; Carol T - happy to see emily and Dr Tom; Glen - happy Lianna is joining us; Liz - happy about weather and warm weekend coming; Jacky - loves NE weather; Susan - happy for elections being over, peace that is prevailing despite predictions; Bill happy about  weather sad he will have to pick up leaves; Ray - happy about weather, happy he won’t have to wear a mask playing tennis, has decided to do roof himself, sad materials haven’t arrived on time; Lianna - to walk the Merrimack river and be outside more, happy to spend time with her young kids; Carolyn - happy about little snow storm, looking forward to snowy winter, happy her crew will be building with her on Saturday. 

Membership update Emily has volunteered for things and Invite a friend to help at Veteran's Day Lunch.  

Service projects:

  • Thanksgiving flowers:  Laura.  Kudos to Mary for cost effective Thanksgiving flowers.  She found an online wholesaler but will be going with Market Basket!  50 small mums at $3.99/each.  Emily 
  • Cards and letters for local nursing homes: Chris M. - going very well
  • Repair Café update: Ray.  Washington State did  a drive through Repair Cafe.  Drop off and pick up at a later date.  Digital right to repair - write your reps! 
  • Service opportunities and resources for Covid-19: Jacky
  • Bolton update:  Mary Ann
  • Veteran’s Day:  Chris S. and Bill.  Things are looking good.  Emmas is doing sandwiches, Susan got a cupcake donation, Honeypot is donating cider, great funding coming in.  Looks like we will break even!  
  • Purple Pinkie/Dictionaries to Lancaster:  Rich.  3rd grade in Lancaster.  Delivering today!  Each one has a name plaque inside with students names and Rotary’s name.  Also collecting for Purple Pinkie Day.  Has a decorated PPD box at the school.  
  • Million Mask Challenge Tour: Carolyn and Laura
    • Masks delivered to:
      • Guidewire in Springfield (4000)
      • Consortium in Holyoke (2000)
      • Cultivate Counseling in Bolton (200)
      • Our Father’s House in Fitchburg (400)
      • Athol Orange Rotary (2000)
      • Boston Medical Center, Boston (50)        
      • Sullivan Optometry, Hudson (50)
      • Dr. Padma Jonnavithula, North Acton Dental (75)
      • Seth Barron, Barron Chiropractic in Acton (50)
      • Belknap House Homeless Shelter (200)
      • Habitat for Humanity NCM (100)
      • Comfort Zone Home Care (150)
      • BCF Member for refugee camp (700)

Global and District Grant update (Mary, Ray and Jacky) - Still haven’t heard from William in Malawi.  Speak with Steve Sager about dispensation.  Frustrated.  All in place.  Need that finished to move to Colombia grant.  Ray has a video on the school reopening in Afganistan and there is a video about the midwifery school.  Most stuudents/families don’t have internet at home so our club helped with books.  District grants are in Carolyn’s court - Habitat grant moving well.  Should be building in the spring.  

        Video from Razia’s Ray of Hope

Endowment update (Ron) - Bill W has joined the endowment Board because Glen has had to step down as he moves toward being President.  

Wreath Sales

Upcoming events and meetings:

  • November 11, Veteran’s Day Lunch
  • November 17, Foundation Zoom Dinner
  • December 2, District Holiday Party
  • January 23, Rotary Leadership Institute
  • February 6, 2021, Rise Against Hunger - Chris is dubious about whether it will happen.  
  • June 2021: RYLA

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Lianna Kushi, Executive Director of Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) in Lowell & Lawrence

Everyone should have access to having their own business.  Lowell, Lawrence, Lynn,  New Bedford Fall River, Holyoke and Springfield, Worcester

Has an accelerator program.  Help connect people to resources

Grassroots entrepreneurship from ground up.  Applications and scoring.  Interview candidates.  Mentoring, Classes.  Tons of amazing volunteers help make the program possible.  Many programs in English and Spanish.  Pitch contests much like Sharktank with prize money.  

Accelerator program is intensive training and mentorship for 9 months then on going.  

15 business at a time that becomes a network with each other and become a family.  Mentors work with them intensely; give away money no strings attached, lifelong support

Generated $25 million in revenue in 2019; Raised $35 Million

74% women owned, 58% people of color owned, 46% immigrant owned, 39% previous unemployed owned

43% services, 18% food, 12% retail, 9% non-profit, 7% manufacturing, 6% tech. 5% other

New reality - moved on line this year including pitch contests.  

Will need new business that are focused on the post Covid world.  Opening to people who are already in business who are needing to pivot to address new challenges. 

Need mentors and encourage us to volunteer

Funded (non profit) mostly from private foundations (just got a10 year grant), corporate sponsors and a small amount of money from State budget (via partnerships).  Operates very lean with 2 people per center and lots of interns and volunteers.  Also help direct participants to other sources of funding.  

Commitment level is very high because the application process is very competitive and takes time.  

About ½ of mentors are retired.  Meet with mentee’s 90 minutes a week now via Zoom.  Mentors are all volunteers.  No financial relationships at least for the first year of being a mentor.  

Lianna Kushi

Meeting adjourned at 8:22am

Next meeting in 2 weeks