PARTNER PROFILE: The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship

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February 9, 2015

NH SBDC is celebrating its 30th anniversary by highlighting just some of our many small business clients and partnerships we've had over the years.

From the earliest days of the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship in Keene, back when it was “just” the Hannah Grimes Marketplace, it has partnered with the Keene office of the NH Small Business Development Center. The two organizations staged workshops and events together starting in the late 1990s, and today share clients and bounce ideas off one another, according to Hannah Grimes director Mary Ann Kristiansen.

Rich Grogan, NH SBDC’s regional director in Keene, has office hours at the Hannah Grimes building on Roxbury Street in Keene, where the clients of Hannah Grimes routinely seek his advice as they begin or make plans to expand or change their businesses. His main office is located at nearby Keene State College.

The Hannah Grimes Center educates, supports and helps in the development of successful entrepreneurs in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. Their programs include a small business incubator space, educational opportunities, and other business development opportunities. It oversees the Hannah Grimes Marketplace, a retail store selling only local products.

“When someone comes in our door and says they need a particular type of help, we send them to Rich and vice versa,” Mary Ann says. “They’re a go-to resource whether it’s someone with a marketing problem, a financial problem, just anything—we send them to Rich and we feel really confident that they’ll be treated well and be helped. And it’s free and it’s amazing.”

Rich and Mary Ann have collaborated on finding topics for workshops and on presenting. In the past the NH SBDC Keene office and Hannah Grimes facilitated an Angel Investors group at the center. Mary Ann has worked with four regional directors now and says, “They’ve all been extraordinary to work with,” she said. “I’ve always been very impressed by them and the training that they have.”

Grogran says, “I have a partnership with the Hannah Grimes Center in the truest sense of the word; we make each other better.

The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship

“We enjoy working together. We’re on the same page about how to build our local economy through small business growth. Everyone at Hannah Grimes is doing this work because they want to; they know that to be successful is to help others realize their own success, and that is a tremendous atmosphere to be a part of,” Grogan says. “The energy that has been created by the Hannah Grimes Center around entrepreneurship is infectious, and I’m thrilled that SBDC is a part of creating that energy.”