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Photo: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Ribbon Cutting

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Opens

Officials from Shaw University and Carolina Small Business Development Fund announced the grand opening of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center on Thursday, January 19, designed to expand small business development and economic empowerment within Southeast Raleigh and beyond.

The Center aims to provide an ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs that will foster innovation and help them establish and sustain high growth companies and small businesses. 

"The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center is an opportunity to catch the next big idea and dream, unlock it and support its growth," said Lenwood V. Long, Sr., President/CEO of Carolina Small Business Development Fund. "The Center is a result of our combined commitment to increase access to capital and business services for Main Street small businesses in Southeast Raleigh and beyond. We believe this will have a lasting economic impact and represent a model than can be duplicated. We are excited to begin this model initiative with Shaw University."

The purpose of the Center is to inspire, connect, encourage and support startups, students and existing entrepreneurs. It will provide potential business owners with space to create and develop business ideas, business plans, and find resources for financing, networking and capacity building to bring entrepreneurial concepts to the marketplace. 

Open to Shaw University faculty, staff, alumni, students, and members of the community, the Center will open university space to classroom instruction, research technology and professional mentorship from local business owners.

"Shaw University is excited to partner with the Carolina Small Business Fund to launch this critical resource for our community of entrepreneurs,” said Shaw University president, Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy. “Raleigh is a national leader in connecting startup culture and investment with several emerging industries. We are proud to serve as a workforce development partner in this ambitious venture," said Dubroy.

By establishing the Center, Shaw University and Carolina Small Business aspire to provide more awareness, training and support to entrepreneurs in underserved communities that significantly impact local economies.  This 21st century business incubator will be ground zero for cultivating big ideas, and training and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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