EDA University Center
The EDA University Center at Fayetteville State University (FSU) was established with a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to support regional business expansion.
The Center provides program support for entrepreneurial and small business growth, with specific focus on traditionally marginalized populations within a six-county region neighboring Fayetteville State University (Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson, and Sampson counties).
The Center will leverage University expertise to enable accelerated growth in output and jobs. Such support empowers businesses navigating changing market conditions, pursuing new opportunities, and improving resiliency. To help underserved segments of distressed communities access opportunities, there will be a particular focus on collaborating with community partners to identify and connect contractors with historic levels of construction activity to be taking place over the next 3-5 years at FSU and throughout Cumberland County (over $150 million at FSU alone). The University Center will be the driving force in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub operations—a stand-alone, accessible space, housing entrepreneurial support activities currently located separately on campus and in Fayetteville.
What Makes Us Different?
The FSU EDA University Center takes a holistic approach to entrepreneurship. If you are an aspiring underserved entrepreneur discouraged by the traditional lack of access to financing sources to launch your business venture, we'll provide you with the access, information, and tools necessary to help you get started.
We will work to connect you with consultants, partners, and mentors to educate you on the important aspects of business and empower you as budding entrepreneurs to take ownership by participating in market testing of your business proposal. The FSU EDA University Center and its campus, local, and regional partners are here to assist you every step of the way, from concept to fruition. We look forward to working with you!
The Center's eight-week online entrepreneurial training course covers small business pandemic recovery topics including transitioning from a brick-and-mortar to an e-commerce business, rebounding and rebuilding during an economic crisis, and marketing a business online and on social media.
Services offered for local small business owners:
> Entrepreneur/small business assessment and advisory services
> Certificate of completion for participation in eight EDA sessions, skills guide and coaching
> Prototyping production via 3D printing (types of molds available?)
> Research and resources to increase/create online web support
Small Business Administration Funding Opportunities
Venture Capital Funds for Women and Minorities
Local Funding Options
FSU Professional Schools and Centers
- College of Business and Economics
- Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC)
- Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
State and Federal Agencies
- US Economic Development Administration University Centers
- North Carolina Department of Commerce
- Thrive in North Carolina
- North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development
- North Carolina's Southeast Regional Economic Development Partnership
- Council for Community and Economic Research
- Harnett County Economic Development Commission
- Lillington Chamber of Commerce
- Raeford-Hoke Chamber of Commerce
- Robeson County Economic Development Commission
- Lumberton Chamber of Commerce
- Elizabeth White Lake Chamber of Commerce
- Bladen County Economic Development
- Sampson County Economic Development Commission
- Clinton Sampson Chamber of Commerce
Community Development Organization
Program participants must:
> Be a United States citizen
> Be a resident, aspiring entrepreneur/or existing small business owner in one of the following Southeastern NC counties: Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson, Sampson
> Be willing to take an entrepreneurial needs assessment and complete eight (8) EDA sessions in six months, skills guides, and coaching to receive a certificate of completion.
Please contact program director, Malika Bennett, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information