Emmanuel awarded Cummings Foundation Grant to support business collaborative

Emmanuel College is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through the Cummings Foundation's $25 Million Grant Program. The college was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $500,000 over 10 years in support of the Emmanuel Business Collaborative (EBC).

The EBC was established within the Emmanuel College School of Business and Management to find ways that students could both learn from and give back to the local business community. The EBC supports local minority- and women-owned businesses through "live case" consulting exercises, guided internships, community events, and research.

"Receiving this grant will allow us to expand the resources we can offer to our local business partners," said Assistant Professor of Management and co-founder of the Emmanuel Business Collaborative Kelly Basile. "Over the last few years, we have found that organizations often need additional financial resources to act on recommendations developed by our student teams. This funding will allow the EBC to offer our organizational partners paid interns as well as stipends to better support new initiatives aimed at growing their businesses."

The EBC plans to use the funding support from the Cummings Foundation to remove barriers related to program participation for local organizations that lack financial resources. While EBC-partner organizations gain useful input from student "consultants," participation in a live-case project can represent an "opportunity cost" for new entrepreneurs who are often juggling multiple responsibilities associated with funding, business operations, marketing, etc. A stipend may help to eliminate this barrier to participation.

Further, through live-case experiences to date, the EBC has found that new entrepreneurs often lack the resources to implement some of the recommendations derived from student projects. Therefore, this funding will allow the EBC to provide these organizations with paid Emmanuel student interns to assist in carrying out the live case recommendations. The EBC will also hold community events twice per year, which will bring together students, local businesses, nonprofits, and public sector leaders for the purpose of building an ecosystem of support for our local business partners.

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk Counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the foundation.

"We are so fortunate in Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them," said Cummings Foundation Executive Director Joyce Vyriotes. "We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society."

With the help of about 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

In 2019, Emmanuel received a $100,000 grant through the Cummings Foundation to help support service initiatives through Emmanuel's Cardinal Sean O'Malley Center for Mission and Ministry. In 2018, Bill Cummings served as Emmanuel's keynote speaker at its annual Academic Convocation, encouraging students to be their authentic selves, remain lifelong students and recognize need in their own communities and beyond. That year, his autobiography, ''Starting Small and Making it Big: An Entrepreneur's Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist," was also required reading for incoming first-year students.