Entrepreneurship in the City of Lawrence

By: Tomas Gabriel Michel

Diving into a business venture and becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most excruciating tasks an individual can partake into, but also, one of the most fulfilling ones. There are many requirements to meet, and many conditions to satisfy, in order to be successful. Knowing a platform’s break-even point is as important as obtaining revenue.

A single person needs to wear many hats, especially in the start-up phase. The owner may have to promote the sales, run operations, direct communications and develop a path, all at once. To achieve growth and sustainability in today’s everchanging socio-economic atmosphere, implies an ability to stay marketable, competitive and innovative. Lastly, the business model is not a structure written in stone; how to deliver value to clients’ needs to adapt, as so do external factors directly impacting the commerce.

Michael Tarshi, the current Director of Operations and President of Dental Bright, with offices on Essex Street in Lawrence and Cambridge Street in Burlington, Massachusetts agrees that in order to become a successful entrepreneur, ones needs to embrace change and adapt; hence staying informed is imperative. After being selected to participate as a contestant on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice season 3 —from over a million applicants, in 2005—, Michael consolidated that ignorance is painful for the business. With a project that started as an idea, Dental Bright is now able to provide 45 employments in the City of Lawrence.

“When your business is giving you too many problems, can’t focus on all of them at once. The entrepreneur has to tackle them one by one and embrace the opportunity each can bring to your growth” he states. Advising that failure is not an option, one should continue persevering and not giving up. He measures success not by the amount of power an individual acquires, but by the ability to give. Leading him to become an advocate of neighborhood development in City of Lawrence. He is a supporter of local organizations such as Bread and Roses, Lawrence Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity.

Michael is also an active member of the ICSC, Greater Boston Real Estate Board and the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce. Real Estate is another one of the trades he actively participates from, referring to it as a tough one. In the latter, he has learned that is as important to diligently trim your properties’ trees and cleaning its space’s trash, as any other executive activity.

Janin Duran, the Executive Director of EParaTodos, EforAll’s Spanish branch in Lawrence, has a shifted perspective.

Her main goal is to follow the mission of the organizations she works for, which is to accelerate economic and social impact through entrepreneurship in mid-sized cities. After founding EParaTodos in 2013, and the first business accelerator program in Spanish within nation, in 2015, she has worked incessantly to develop the Latino business community in a comprehensive fashion. By creating a 14 weeks intensive program, in which the organization teaches participants about marketing, branding, communications, business models and even accounting.

She advocates for the Latino entrepreneurs, parting from the influence they already have in the region’s economy. She has promoted networking events in which she brings keynotes speakers for the public, free of charge. Constantly informs the entrepreneurs of opportunities available in other organizations.
Even connects them with mentors, that assist the business owners to-be, through the process of structuring their start-up efficiently.

As of today, the EParaTodos entrepreneurs have generated $903,000 in sales. 82% of the program participants are currently active in the market, and an estimate of 100 employments have been createdwith $500,000 in revenue attained.

The Economist Joseph Schumpeter described the action of being an entrepreneur as a force of creative destruction. The entrepreneur has to change established trends, pursue new markets, chase new methods of production, and improve circumstances to foster new undertakings.
There are many implications that occur while attempting to exploit a new commercial opportunity. One of them is understanding that a business does not operate in a vacuum.

There’s a need for social responsibility, a good relationship with its immediate environment- with the people one serves. In today’s market, sole profit is not the answer to success, but a business ability to create and maintain healthy-mutually-beneficial relationships with their customers, the public, and other organizations in its niche. ◊