The Coalition – Supporting Small Businesses in Southeast NC
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: To create awareness and make it easier for individuals and small businesses to access the resources most suited to their specific business needs.
The Coalition Partners collaborate regularly, leveraging internal and community resources to boost awareness of the information and advisory resources available to assist small businesses in Southeast North Carolina. Throughout the year, The Coalition jointly promotes Partner events and organizes its own events to facilitate networking. Further, our alliances with the Wilmington Business Journal and other media outlets provide a platform to promote Coalition Partner activities.
The Coalition Partners
The Partners of The Coalition are listed below with a short description of their services and website links. Contact The Coalition Partner 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
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 the 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 especially designed for Encore Entrepreneurs.
The Brian Hamilton Foundation assists people with the odds stacked against them to be successful businesses owners. The foundation builds on decades of entrepreneurial experience to provide aspiring entrepreneurs and growing business owners with the information and inspiration they need to successfully start, run, and grow their businesses. Through their programs, The Brian Hamilton Foundation provides education by speaking to business and entrepreneurship groups, connecting those looking for information with experienced entrepreneurs, and providing free online courses.
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 to your challenging small business questions. In addition, they provide seminars and workshops to help new and existing small 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 the operation of your business.
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. The CFCC-SBC 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. In addition, the Cape Fear Community College’s Small Business Center provides seminars, workshops, valuable information and referral services to small business owners.
Coastal Women’s Ventures is a program of the YWCA Lower Cape Fear aimed at the empowerment of women through economic development. The program provides business coaching, mentoring, small business education and loan capital assistance. Coastal Women’s Ventures was created in partnership with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund. The YWCA Lower Cape Fear is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The Coastal Women’s Ventures program is part of the Empowerment & Economic Advancement function of the YWCA Lower Cape Fear.
North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) leverages military and other federal business opportunities to increase federal revenues to North Carolina businesses. The NCMBC 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 North Carolina Military Business Center is a business development entity of the North Carolina Community College System.
SCORE Cape Fear Region fosters vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education. Their dedicated 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 in the profitable operation of their businesses. Visit our website to find a mentor, take a workshop and browse the library.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent federal government agency helping Americans to start, build and grow small businesses. The SBA assists small business owners by providing free business counseling and helping them obtain SBA-guaranteed business loans, home/business disaster loans and federal government contracts. The Small Business Administration protects the interests of small businesses, realizing that they are critical to building America’s future. The SBA delivers their services through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.
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 Small Business and Development Technology Center operates in formal partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency and others.
tekMountain, a privately-owned incubator/accelerator, attracts, hosts and trains technology-based startups. Their unique versatile space in Wilmington, NC offers access to entrepreneurial mentors, professional services and funding. Their extensive services range from expert business plan guidance through complex services such as intellectual property consulting. As the go-to new technology experts, tekMountain moves your business idea quickly to launch. tekMountain offers regulatory consulting services in education technology, including compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). We actively work with CastleBranch.
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 and educational programs 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. Through events, opportunities, research and education, they are building a large community of entrepreneurs.