By Allan Younger
There are a myriad of challenges that minority-owned and women-owned businesses face, some of which are being addressed. As the Small Business Center is trying to be part of the solution, here are a few things that we should celebrate:
- HUSTLE Winston Salem is working in the area of inclusive entrepreneurship. Its vision is a thriving city where all citizens have equitable opportunity to achieve economic prosperity through entrepreneurship.
- The ACCESS Center for Equity and Success accelerates the growth of existing MWBEs by connecting them with contracting opportunities, certifications, investment and funding, and resources needed to succeed.
- Venture Café connects entrepreneurs to innovators largely through its Thursday Gathering. It hosts about 150 attendees each week and 40 percent are minorities and 46 percent are women.
- The Atkins CDC manages The Enterprise Center in which more than 40 MWBEs maintain offices.
- The City of Winston Salem manages an MWBE program that is designed to assist MWBEs in providing goods and services to the city. Overall spending with MWBE firms in 2017-2018 increased $5.6 million dollars from the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
- The Small Business Center provides educational events, business counseling/mentoring, and much more. More than half of our clients are minorities and 62 percent are women.
- The Small Business Center facilitates a regular business roundtable at The Enterprise Center in southeast Winston-Salem and a professionalism series at the Mazie Woodruff Center in East Winston.
- The Launch Challenge started in 2017 and is a business accelerator of the Small Business Center. Ninety-four percent of the graduates during the past two years are women and/or minorities.
- According to publication WalletHub, Winston-Salem is tied for first in the highest average growth in the number of small businesses.
You can learn about many opportunities to enhance your business by visiting our website or participating in our educational events. We want to help you to achieve your dream of starting a new business or realizing more success if you already own a business. Our team has the experience and expertise to help you to overcome most challenges that come your way.
You may learn about our services and clients at www.forsythtech.edu. Feel free to stop by our office at 525@Vine in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter just east of the heart of downtown Winston-Salem. You may also contact us at SBC@forsythtech.edu or by calling (336) 757-3810.
The objective of the Small Business Center at Forsyth Tech is to help small businesses succeed by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing business owners in Forsyth and Stokes counties.