The sections below offer links to state, local and national resources and information for both immigrant entrepreneurs and financial partners and lenders. The majority of the business development services provided by state and local government as well as nonprofit organizations are free of charge, and many target the needs of small and minority-owned businesses. Many community-based organizations, including ethnic minority organizations and community development corporations, also offer English language classes, skills training, career advising, and business development consulting. Ethnic and neighborhood business associations, regional chambers of commerce, and local government economic development bodies can also provide a source of local and regional business information, technical assistance, peer support, advocacy, and marketing opportunities.

Massachusetts Resources for Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Starting a Business in Massachusetts: A Guide for New American Entrepreneurs

  • Developed by the MIRA Coalition, this guide provides a basic picture of what the New American entrepreneur will need to open a business in Massachusetts, and helps would-be business owners find the best tools, training and financing opportunities to start and keep a business going. The guide also provides an overview of the many resources available in Massachusetts for business owners who are just starting out to help them plan, create and finance a new venture. The guide can be useful as well for community-based organizations or other immigrant- or refugee-serving groups whose staff or membership need to access reliable, up-to-date information about starting or maintaining a business.

Business Development Information and Assistance (Statewide and Boston-based)

Information and Resources for Access to Capital

Banking and Financial Literacy Information

  • Basic Banking for Massachusetts is a voluntary program of partner banks across MA that works to expand access to low cost bank products and services for those with modest incomes.
  • The Midas Collaborative is a statewide network of innovative community groups increasing economic stability in Massachusetts through financial education, personal savings, and access to wealth-building assets such as homes, cars, college educations, and small business.
  • Mass Saves is a broad volunteer-based network of public and private stakeholders – financial educators, providers, community organizations and advocates – that work with youth and adults to improve the quality and delivery of financial education across the state.
  • The Massachusetts Financial Literacy group is a listserv hosted by The Education Committee of the Boston Alliance for Economic Inclusion that serves as a clearinghouse for financial education information and related courses that seek to educate consumers and small business owners about any aspect of personal or business financial planning.
  • The Internal Revenue Service provides information on how to apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number or ITIN. ITINs allow immigrants without social security numbers to pay taxes confidentially and build a credit history.
  • The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) provides basic information for Massachusetts consumers on Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)–matched savings accounts that allow people to save, build assets and enter the financial mainstream.
  • The HarborOne Credit Union in Brockton, MA hosts a MultiCultural Banking Center to help move people into mainstream banking products.
  • Banking On Our Future provides free classes to schools and communities focusing on banking, budgeting, credit, investments and savings and checking accounts.
  • The National Credit Union Administration is dedicated to facilitating the availability of credit union services to all eligible consumers, especially those of modest means.
  • The New Economy Project works to eliminate barriers to access to services for low-income communities by fostering democratically-structured, community-controlled initiatives such as worker cooperatives, community development credit unions, community land trusts, and mutual housing. NEP’s Immigrant Financial Justice Project works to address systemic barriers that immigrant communities face to fair banking and credit access, and devises strategies to press for change.

Local and Regional Resources

Regional and Ethnic/Minority Business Associations

Resources for Financial Partners and Lenders