The Coalition – Supporting Small Businesses in Southeast North Carolina

Starting, managing and growing a business is always challenging and sometimes confusing to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Fortunately, there are many professional and no-cost resources available in the greater Wilmington area that can help your small business succeed. The Coalition is a collaboration of government-supported, not-for-profit organizations whose mission is to help entrepreneurs to create and grow successful small businesses in Southeast North Carolina.

The Coalition’s Goal:  The goal of The Coalition, which was established in 2016, is to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to access the resources most suited to their particular needs. We have outlined the types of services available to those interested in starting their own business and to those already operating small businesses to they may make the best decision as to which organization(s) are in the best position to help them.

Achieving these objectives requires that we collaborate and leverage resources to boost awareness about all small business education and counseling resources available in the Cape Fear region. Throughout the year, The Coalition jointly promotes events and resources available to support the business community, from back-of-the-napkin entrepreneur to well established enterprises. Our alliance with the Greater Business Journal enables us to have a platform and megaphone to feature Coalition partner activities.

We are changing the small business resource paradigm in the Cape Fear Region to create enhanced community awareness regarding the remarkable resources that are available to help small businesses start, grow and prosper to enhance the overall economic vitality of the region.


The Coalition Members

The Members of The Coalition are listed below with a short description of their services and website links. Contact The Coalition Member most aligned with your business needs today! And be sure to visit our Events Calendar to select the Coalition events that are right for you! – Click Here

Small Business Success Wilmington NC GO

The AARP (An Ally for Real Possibilities) enhances the quality of life for all as we age. The AARP champions positive social change and delivers value through advocacy, information and service. The AARP and SBA have partnered to jointly help Encore Entrepreneurs (Americans over age 50) to start, operate and grow small businesses. Services include counselling, training and mentoring through online educational resources and in-person events. The AARP State Offices and SBA District Offices host events for Encore Entrepreneurs. Take the  free online course.

Brunswick Community College’s Small Business Center - Small Business Success

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The Brunswick Community College provides high-quality, student-centered programs and services. The experienced counselors of the Brunswick Community College’s Small Business Center offer confidential business counseling and solutions. In addition, they provide seminars and workshops to help new and existing business owners in Brunswick County succeed. The Small Business Center Network includes 58 Small Business Centers throughout North Carolina. Each local SBC runs a helpful resource library, including links to organizations and agencies vital to your business.

Cape Fear Community Colleges Small Business Center Small Business Success WNC Small Business Success Wilmington NC GO

The Cape Fear Community College’s Small Business Center (CFCC-SBC) promotes and supports the establishment of small businesses in both New Hanover and Pender Counties. It is a central point of contact for information, education, and assistance for prospective and current small business owners. Experienced counselors serve as a sounding board, guiding you on how to start and successfully run a small business. The Cape Fear Community College’s Small Business Center also provides seminars, workshops, valuable information, and referral services.


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The goal of Genesis Block is to build the entrepreneur class in communities block by block. They believe that each community needs a place to collaborate, create, discuss ideas and gather. Genesis Block provides business development services, workspaces and develops entrepreneurial communities. The Entrepreneur Academy provides unique courses for small business owners and entrepreneurs with any background. Their minority business accelerator is designed to accelerate the development of minority and women-owned businesses.


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The Kairos Center focuses on Economic Empowerment by helping individuals discover their passion and purpose in life. Participants choose one of three tracks after completing the basic training program “LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE NOW”; Employment, Education or Entrepreneurship. Kairos provides counseling, mentoring and financial support to assist clients as they improve their economic position through higher paying jobs, attaining higher educational goals, and entrepreneurship. Business ownership becomes the catalyst for accumulating wealth within the community.

The Coalition Live Oak Bank | Small Business Success Wilmington NC

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The mission of Live Oak Bank is to be America’s small business bank of choice. The professional Live Oak Bank team will guide you, whether you are considering building, buying or expanding your business. When you bank with them, your money helps to grow small businesses across the country. They simplify the loan process and provides some of the most aggressive savings and CD rates on the market. Live Oak Bank provides unmatched personal service and an unwavering commitment to your small business success.

Living the Dream Center for Entrepreneurship of the YWCA Lower Cape Fear | Small Business Success Wilmington NC

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YWCA Lower Cape Fear’s Living the Dream Center for Entrepreneurship provides small business coaching to people who want to start a business or who want to grow their current business. They focus on women of color owned micro businesses (1-5 employees) with a startup cost of less than $50,000. The Center helps raise capital provided through CDFIs and the SBA. They leverage all resources of the YWCA to offer classes, programs, consulting, and networking opportunities to participants. The YWCA strives to make sure that all people, regardless of their economic status, are provided access to their program and services.

The Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington Small Business Success Wilmington NC GO

The Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington (NEW) is a a nurturing organization for Wilmington NC startups that connect entrepreneurs to resources so they can innovate, attract capital, grow, and create jobs. NEW organizes monthly educational events that include hosting speakers/panel discussions, providing networking/partnering opportunities, and meeting potential mentors. Founder Jim Roberts has helped entrepreneurs in a wide variety of industries from high tech mobile apps, SAAS, medical devices, biotechnology, consumer products and more.

North Carolina Military Business Center | Small Business Success Wilmington NC

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North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) leverages military and other federal business opportunities to increase federal revenues to North Carolina businesses. It utilizes an experienced business development team of industry/procurement specialists and several technology platforms to help you as small business owner win federal contracts. The NCMBC helps integrate military personnel/veterans and families into the workforce and recruit defense-related businesses to NC. The NCMBC is a business development entity of the NC Community College System.

SCORE Cape Fear Region | Small Business Success Wilmington NC

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SCORE Cape Fear Region fosters vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education. Their team of business experts are ready to assist you in starting or growing your small business throughout the Eastern North Carolina region. The SCORE Cape Fear Region team provides general advice on everything from how to write a business plan to cash flow management and sales promotion. SCORE also offer workshops of interest to small business owners designed to aid them to be profitable. Visit our website to find a mentor, take a workshop and browse the library.

Small Business and Technology Development Center | Small Business Success WNC Small Business Success Wilmington NC GO

The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at UNCW is affiliated with the UNCW Cameron School of Business. The SBTDC provides confidential management counseling, educational services and other supportive resources. This enables small to mid-sized businesses, emerging entrepreneurs and local/state leaders to innovate and succeed. Since 1984, the SBTDC has helped NC businesses to grow and create new jobs. The SBTDC operates in formal partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency and others.

Small Business Success WNC - UNCW Center for Innovation and EntrepreneurshipSmall Business Success Wilmington NC GO

The University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship nurtures emerging companies and works to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in southeastern North Carolina. They are the region’s largest sponsor of events, training, educational programs and research for the entrepreneurial community. The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a vibrant and creative hub where members of the business community join UNCW faculty and students to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

The Coalition Wilmington Chamber of CommerceSmall Business Success Wilmington NC GO

The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce provides its members with business-building programs and events to help you connect and do business with each other. We provide information and timely news updates to help you make better business decisions. We also offer leadership development programs, marketing opportunities, and advocacy so your business can be seen and heard. Our initiatives have stimulated economic development, influenced public policy, and supported the growth of thousands of local jobs and businesses. We are a convener, a connector, and a cultivator of leaders and local influencers. The Wilmington Chamber is the local champion of a balanced and thriving economy in southeastern North Carolina.

The Coalition Supporters

The supporters of the The Coalition are the Carolina Small Business Development Fund and Partner Community Capital.