The Entrepreneurship Center was founded to provide entrepreneurs from ethnically and economically diverse groups with the education, tools and access to SBA micro loan products necessary to launch, expand and sustain small business.


Small businesses received 3,846 hours of technical assistance support from the Entrepreneurship Center

Charles SmithCharles Smith, Director

Charles Smith joined Community Teamwork with over 14 years of SBA experience and 20 years of government lending experience. Charles has been involved in lending for his entire career.

Charles is excited to be working with the entrepreneurs in the Merrimack Valley and looks forward to the challenge of providing access to capital in these communities. He believes in giving entrepreneurs from all walks-of-life, no matter their stage of business, a chance to grow their business using all of the programs available to entrepreneurs, including conventional and SBA lending.

Charles is an Adjunct Professor and PH.D candidate in 2026 at UMass Lowell, a graduate of Texas Tech School of Law, Rawls College of Business and Texas and Prairie View A&M University. When not working or in school, Charles enjoys downtime with his family, including a young son and daughter.

Ani Vong, Small Business Coach

Connect with Ani on LinkedIn

I believe it takes a village to nourish a community; one which supports each other and is kind and uplifting.

Being a retail and e-commerce business owner myself, I have a deeper understanding of small business owner’s struggles and challenges, and opportunities. Growing up in Lowell and knowing the parts of Lowell and witnessing its changes and progress, I also have a deep connection and understanding of what it takes to build a hyper-local community-based business.

I am proud of my ability to get a group of different people to come together to support causes that we believe in. I am proud of my ability to rally people to make a positive impact in our community.

My professional goals are to make a difference in my community by amplifying unheard voices using my platform and to inspire young girls to dream big and become leaders. I am also committed to never stop learning and listening.

My goals at the Entrepreneurship Center are to support entrepreneurs, as well as to educate the public about what it really means to be a small business owner, including understanding all the beauty and ugliness that comes with it, so that they can support their local small businesses effectively.