Press Release
December 4, 2006
2 minute read


Supports Governor Corzine’s Efforts to Assist Small, Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

TRENTON, N.J. (Dec. 4, 2006) – In support of Governor Jon S. Corzine’s commitment to small, minority- and women-owned businesses through his Economic Growth Strategy, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has announced a $20,000 contribution from the Merrill Lynch Community Development Company (MLCDC) to boost training and technical assistance programs for entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneurial Training Institute (ETI).

The innovative ETI program, an initiative of the EDA, fosters the growth of small businesses, particularly woman-owned and minority-owned enterprises. More than 1,200 individuals have graduated from ETI and accumulated more than $26 million in funding to support their business ideas since the program began in 1992.
For information on recent ETI success stories, click here.

“We are very pleased to receive MLCDC’s continued commitment and support for the ETI program because it helps enhance Governor Corzine’s efforts to encourage success in small, minority, and women-owned businesses in New Jersey,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini. “Partnerships with key financial institutions like Merrill Lynch are instrumental in our efforts to create new jobs and build stronger communities as envisioned in the Governor’s Economic Growth Strategy.”

The conditionally renewable grant, first awarded in 2005 and extended for another year, has been designated specifically for financial training modules within the ETI II curriculum, which is designed to help the entrepreneur develop a quality business plan. Through ETI, students cover the basics of financial planning, assess the impact of financial results and learn about financial opportunities to grow their business.

“We are pleased to renew this grant because we believe that training and technical assistance services to entrepreneurs supports and strengthens New Jersey’s overall economy,” said MLCDC President Terri Ludwig. “Small businesses provide jobs and help grow New Jersey’s urban and suburban neighborhoods into safe, economically healthy and sustainable communities.

ETI/Merrill Lynch Community Development

The MLCDC, a for-profit subsidiary of Merrill Lynch Bank & Trust Co., FSB, searches for lending, investment and program development opportunities and seeks collaborative partnerships with governmental and quasi-governmental entities, nonprofit and for-profit intermediaries, and other financial institutions in a broad range of community development activities.

The MLCDC makes a limited number of grants each year to foster the creation of programs that complement its initiatives, which are geared toward facilitating affordable housing, development, economic development, neighborhood revitalization and the provision of community services.

In addition to Merrill Lynch, primary sponsors of the ETI Program are Bank of America, PNC Bank and the Wachovia Foundation.

The EDA is an independent, self-sustaining state financing and development agency that works to promote economic growth, job creation and the revitalization of New Jersey’s communities with financing assistance, technical support and entrepreneurial training, and real estate development activities.

For more information on activities supporting Governor Corzine’s Economic Growth Strategy, visit: