Focus Areas

Inclusive Growth and Small Business Development

Mt. Auburn Associates offers deep expertise in understanding the needs of the diverse small business community and developing targeted strategies to ensure that small business owners have access to the resources critical to their growth and continued success. We believe that the health and vitality of small businesses are critical to the economic well-being of every community.

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation's (MGCC's) Small Business Development Program

In 2018, Mt. Auburn Associates, with Karl Seidman Consulting, conducted an evaluation for the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, a state quasi-public corporation working to foster job creation and economic development in the Commonwealth's Gateway Cities and low- and moderate-income communities. We assessed the effectiveness and impact of MGCC's Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program by reviewing program documentation and grantee reports, interviewing executive directors and program managers at grantee organizations, conducting focus groups with state and regional economic development and small business development practitioners, researching best practices of comparable grant programs nationally, and conducting a survey of business clients receiving assistance from MGCC grantees. Mt. Auburn reported on program trends over time; business, employment, and community outcomes; the program's impact on the state and regional small business ecosystem; and offered recommendations regarding opportunities to enhance the program's impact and to build a more effective and equitable small business development system across Massachusetts.

view the report (pdf)

Foundation for Business Equity's Business Equity Initiative (BEI)

In 2019, our team evaluated BEI, an initiative with an innovative approach to addressing the growing income inequities in Massachusetts by providing high-touch, customized strategic advising to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs with high growth potential. We first developed a theory of change for the initiative based on the staff's articulation of the purpose and goals of the program and then created a data guide outlining the evaluative efforts that would take place over time and the set of metrics to capture internally and externally at various program intervals. The team then analyzed self-reported data from participating enterprises and conducted a series of interviews and surveys with both strategic advisors and participating enterprises. Based on this research, Mt. Auburn reported on the overall impact of the early cohorts of BEI and provided feedback on BEI activities, including areas for potential improvement.