FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Bedford, MA–Mayor Jon Mitchell and the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC) announce the launch of New Bedford SourceLink, a supportive platform that connects maritime, arts and culture, and main street entrepreneurs to a network of local, regional, and national resource partners to foster innovation, growth, and prosperity.
Beginning in the late spring of last year, the NBEDC committed to developing a “game plan” to better understand the ecosystem of entrepreneurs in the city and the assets available to help them. Through a successful application to the National League of Cities to help fund this work through their Cities Innovation Ecosystem program, the New Bedford Port Authority, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, New Bedford Creative Consortium, Co-Creative Center, E for All, and Groundwork joined as founding partners to help fund the initiative and better support the individual communities of entrepreneurs they serve.
“It’s no secret that New Bedford is home to some of the most hard-working and innovative business owners in the nation. It’s a part of our history and identity,” said Mayor Mitchell. “This initiative provides another tool for business owners to build, grow, and scale their businesses, which will be especially valuable as we emerge on the other side of the pandemic.”
New Bedford SourceLink will be a one-stop, collaborative platform to help new and existing New Bedford businesses accelerate their growth by utilizing a network of existing expert service providers called resource partners. Resource partners, which are vetted through New Bedford SourceLink administrators, are organized in the platform in one central search engine, which can be filtered by the user’s needs.
With nearly 30 resource partners already signed up to help New Bedford businesses, New Bedford SourceLink will be able to assist businesses at a variety of stages to access a wide array of services, including business planning, legal counsel, accessing capital, and navigating the licensing and permitting process.
“The NBEDC is always on the cutting edge in support of growing our local economy. EforAll South Coast is delighted to be a founding partner of New Bedford Sourcelink, which will help entrepreneurs to access all of the resources available in one website. I look forward to the referrals to our Accelerator programs coming from this partnership as well as the ongoing support entrepreneurs will be able to access,” said Donna Criscuolo, Executive Director, Entrepreneurship For All South Coast.
The platform is powered by SourceLink, a national leader in entrepreneurial ecosystems.
“We are excited to be supporting the launch of New Bedford SourceLink. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the collaborative leadership team and have no doubt that New Bedford SourceLink will quickly become a leader among our national network,” said Rob Williams, Director of SourceLink.
To date, SourceLink has helped more than 100 communities nationwide, from Seattle to San Juan, build an infrastructure that sparks, supports, and sustains entrepreneurship and innovation. In every community, the first step is to define the available resources and make them visible. That mapping then allows service organizations to address their entrepreneurs’ specific needs, make and track referrals to resources, and identify and fill gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Our small and medium-sized businesses are really the heartbeat and soul of New Bedford,” said Tony Sapienza, President of NBEDC. “We’re excited to be able to offer New Bedford SourceLink as a most excellent resource to accelerate growth, build partnerships, and bring new ideas and businesses to the table as we eagerly look to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever.”
In addition to its targeted matchmaking between providers and businesses, New Bedford SourceLink will provide guidance for licensing and management of a start-up enterprise, catalog business-focused events across the city, and host a running blog series featuring entrepreneurs across the city. Once it is safe to gather again in larger numbers, in-person networking and idea-sharing events will be added to the roster. The tool is entirely free to use by business owners and free for resource partners to join and be featured in the platform.
Not-for-profit, government, or educational organizations that serve entrepreneurs and established businesses can join the network by visiting https://www.joinsourcelink.com/rn/new-bedford/signup. Businesses looking to learn more may visit www.newbedfordsourcelink.com.
SourceLink provides research and development to help communities strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems. As the nation’s premier resource for powering entrepreneurs, SourceLink helps build vibrant communities and promotes economic growth by stimulating small business success. SourceLink has successfully engaged with more than 100 communities nationwide, and that number continues to grow. Affiliated networks include Baltimore SourceLink, Colmena66 in Puerto Rico, IASourceLink in Iowa, KCSourceLink in Kansas City, NetWork Kansas, Dallas B.R.A.I.N., and more. SourceLink founders include the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, University of Missouri–Kansas City and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Find out more at www.joinsourcelink.com.