Sandra Larson has been writing for the Bay State Banner since 2009 and has contributed more than 100 stories on urban issues, including extensive coverage of foreclosure, affordable housing, minority jobs issues, and the city’s revitalization plans for Dudley Square in Roxbury. For the Banner and for Exhale Magazine, she has interviewed and profiled many prominent women, among them author Isabel Wilkerson, playwright Lydia Diamond, FACE Africa founder Saran Kaba Jones, former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and Massachusetts first lady Diane Patrick. Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree in biological aspects of conservation and a master’s degree in journalism. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in urban and regional policy. She lives in Boston with her husband and 12-year-old son.
Speakers tout success models for easing Hub economic inequality
An audience of some 350 people gathered Monday night at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston for a discussion of solutions to racial and economic inequalities in Massachusetts. The event, organized by the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, brought together political, government and business experts. In short presentations, a slate of speakers described successful models that help minority-owned business enterprises thrive and grow.
Authors find public transit lessens traffic, encourages economic growth in region
The MBTA system delivers an annual benefit of $11.4 billion to Greater Boston on an operating budget of just over $2 billion, the researchers calculated. That $11.4 billion — in reduced travel time and cost, reduced emissions and crashes avoided — translates to a benefit of $6,700 per household in the region.
Program aims to boost prospects for suppliers of color
The Pacesetter program, modeled after the Minority Business Accelerator program of the Cincinnati Regional Chamber, encourages companies to commit not only to increasing their contracts with suppliers of color and participating in Chamber-sponsored matchmaking and networking events, but to measure and report their increased spending with MBEs and share best practices on economic inclusion.
Entrepreneur taps training, experience in tech business
Growing up in Barbados, Ryan Brathwaite was drawn to computers mainly because his uncle in the U.S. was doing something with technology and it “sounded cool,” he says.Today, at 40, he is CEO and president of Tech Wave Group, providing information technology consulting to clients ranging from individuals, small businesses and nonprofits to large institutions.
Local firms, new and old, make their mark in Boston
Throughout 2017, the Banner’s business pages highlighted local entrepreneurs, those risk-takers who have set up shop to offer services and products from branding to beauty supplies, fitness to fences, sweets to soul food. Some hung their own shingle in an area of accumulated training and experience, while others took a leap from one field to pursue something completely different.
Entrepreneur harnesses coffee to help Ethiopian farmers
With Farmer’s Horse Coffee, Kassegn Sirmollo aims to share Ethiopian coffee and to offer a welcoming vibe for his customers, many of whom are students and faculty at nearby New England Conservatory and Northeastern University or T riders who get on and off at the Mass Ave Station of the Orange Line.
A village of experts and peers helps a Dorchester baker grow her business
Teresa Maynard left a full-time job as assistant director of fundraiser and user support at Harvard University’s development office in 2016 to pursue her dream of opening a bakery.
Since February 2016, Dudley Square has been the focus of one of the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s community planning initiatives, joining similar efforts in Jamaica Plain/Roxbury and South Boston (Dorchester Avenue). The next meeting — and the last for the 2017 calendar year — will be an urban design workshop on Monday, Nov. 27 from 5:30–8 at Central Boston Elder Services.
Entrepreneurship program grads share their creations and pitches
First piloted in Fall 2016, Food Biz 101 is an accelerator specially designed to address the nuts and bolts of starting a food-related business. Classes cover recipe scaling, cost of goods, labeling regulations, licensing and permitting as well as business practices such as public relations, marketing and entity formation.
SBA grant helps EforAll expand Spanish-language programs
EforAll started in 2010 as the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, a project under UMass Lowell with initial funding from the Deshpande Foundation. The mission was to build a community-based entrepreneurial ecosystem where people and institutions from across the community get involved and encourage entrepreneurship.