Community Teamwork is very pleased to announce the appointment of Liliana Kualapai as Director of the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center. Kuaplapai is a longtime entrepreneur, with a passion for small business. She has a performing arts background with over 25 years of experience in the arts as a performer, educator and business owner.
Kualapai opened her first business, The Bennet Dance Center (BDC), outside of Lincoln, Nebraska in 1994, providing dance instruction in rural Nebraska towns to children and adults, including children with special needs. She later relocated to Massachusett, where she earned her B.A. from Brandeis University and continued her work in the arts as a theater and dance educator.
In 2006, Kualapai re-established herself as a small business owner and opened Downtown Dancewear in downtown Lowell, filling a need as a retailer within the Merrimack Valley dance community by offering dance apparel, shoes, and supplies at prices the local economy could support. As a downtown business owner, she worked to strengthen business relations, establishing connections with fellow business owners and reaching out to organizations dedicated to supporting the small business community, one of which was the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center (MVSBC).
From Downtown Dancewear’s inception, Kualapai worked closely with the team at MVSBC to formulate business strategies, increase sales, and improve retail practices. To further her business education, she also enrolled in the InterWise StreetWise ‘MBA’ program, earning her Certificate in Small Business Entrepreneurship from Boston University’s Entrepreneurial Management Institute.
Downtown Dancewear closed in March of 2014 as Kualapai pursued a professional career in small business assistance and accepted the position of Director of the MVSBC. Her experience as a business owner is an asset that the center is looking forward to utilizing as the program continues to grow and support entrepreneurs throughout the Merrimack Valley.
For more information about Kualapai and Community Teamwork’s MV Small Business Center click here: Sun Article on Kualapai.