BHCC opens Enterprise Center for Entrepreneurship and Training in Chelsea

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) opened its Enterprise Center for Entrepreneurship and Training (ECET) on its Chelsea Campus on Tuesday, October 31, with a ribbon cutting ceremony that included representatives from local, state, and federal partners. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new ECET, located on the fifth floor of BHCC’s Chelsea Campus. Dozens of community leaders, small business owners, and college leadership gathered for the event, including State Representative Judith Garcia, Chelsea City Councilor Calvin Brown, and Regional Director of Senator Edward Markey Faarooq Sahabdeen. 

The Center will provide much-needed small business guidance and assistance in multiple languages through online consultation and workshops to address talent recruitment, career readiness, business planning, and innovation. The Center for Entrepreneurship evolved from a Small Business needs assessment by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, a comprehensive study of small business activity and opportunities in those communities and was created in partnership with the City of Chelsea and funded by a $377,000 federal grant secured with the help of Senator Edward Markey. 

The first of its kind in Chelsea, the center will provide needed guidance to small businesses in Chelsea, Everett and neighboring communities with an emphasis on Hispanic-owned and operated enterprises. It will provide assistance in multiple languages through online and in-person consultation, and workshops that address talent recruitment, career readiness, business planning, and innovation planning.

“The ECET is the product of so many working together as a community,” BHCC president Pam Eddinger said. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, small businesses were severely impacted. First by the cost of initial closures, then the challenges of dealing with wave after wave of the virus, new regulations, adaptation to remote work and new modes of meeting customers.”

“This center will serve as a catalyst for economic vitality and empowerment to support residents and small businesses in Chelsea and Everett and the surrounding communities,” said Faarooq Sahabdeen, Regional Director for Senator Edward Markey. “This is especially true for our black and brown small businesses who have historically faced financial barriers. Senator Markey knows this, which is why Senator Markey was intentional in his advocacy to bring $377,000 to this center because he knew the work of the center would seek to rectify those barriers and provide the tools they need to succeed and flourish.”

“Before I became a state representative, I served eight years as a city councilor for the heart of Chelsea, the small business community of Chelsea, District 5,” said State Representative Judith Garcia. “And it was then that I heard and saw the needs of small businesses, and this is exactly what they were asking for… I think this building stands as a beacon of hope and a guiding light and has the potential power to continue our economy growing at the local level.”

“I graduated from Bunker Hill Community College. They gave me vision and inspiration, just as they are with this next generation of entrepreneurs and businesses people,” said Chelsea City Councilor Calvin Brown. “I want to thank BHCC not only for making me an elected official for 20 years…but for bringing our community into another era of leadership, of entrepreneurship and business.”

The Center plans to launch programming in multiple languages, including Spanish, and is currently offering two workshops: one will be an overview of entrepreneurship aimed at individuals who hope to launch their own businesses someday; the other offering will be a boot camp for existing businesses, a kind of crash course in marketing, human resources and planning across industries. A full listing of programs can be found on the center’s website,

About Bunker Hill Community College

Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 16,000 students annually. BHCC has campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC’s students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.

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