Small businesses across the region will now get a boost from the newly opened Fayetteville-Cumberland Regional Entrepreneur and Business HUB at Fayetteville State University (FSU). Managed by FSU’s Broadwell College of Business and Economics (BCBE), the 6,500-square-foot HUB opened September 14, 2022, in the Bronco Square Commercial Development Park, which previously housed the University’s bookstore.
Set up as a collaborative and educational zone for small businesses, the state-of-the art HUB is designed to invigorate the local workforce, grow the economic power of the region, and signal FSU’s commitment to serving as a strong resource for the county and beyond.
The HUB will bring together several BCBE centers under one roof to increase collaboration and provide guidance to innovative small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to grow their ventures. Housed within the HUB are the Veterans Business Outreach Center, Small Business Technology Development Center, and University Center for Economic Development, a project of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
Additional community partners, such as local banks and chambers of commerce, will also play a role in connecting companies to the tools they need to successfully launch or grow their businesses. Focused on providing a one-stop-shop to prepare the leaders of tomorrow, the HUB is expected to help launch dozens of new businesses within the next two years.
The facility includes open workspaces for students and community members, conference rooms, and technology like laptops and 3D printers to assist entrepreneurs with their work. In addition to providing a collaboration and networking zone, the HUB will serve as a place for small businesses to participate in a broad array of learning activities.
Aspiring and established businesses from Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland counties may schedule consultations with FSU faculty, attend business skills workshops and entrepreneurial summits, and take advantage of other experiential learning opportunities at the HUB. The workshops and summits will bring together peers to learn about topics such as financial literacy, record-keeping, legal considerations, insurance, marketing, capital investments, and more. These HUB programs are free, and registration is open to any business leaders in the above counties who want to build their capacity and expand their potential. Look for registration information on the Broadwell College website for two workshops to be held this fall.
One of the HUB’s first projects will be hosting a “construction college,” which is designed to assist small businesses with securing government contracts. More than $160 million has been appropriated to FSU for new construction, and the University is eager to get local businesses involved as subcontractors to keep the economic benefits of these contracts in the region. Covering topics such as submitting a pre-bid and attaining required certifications, the six-week construction college program will help leaders of small businesses gain the knowledge and experience needed to win subcontract awards.
Through initiatives such as the construction college, the HUB will fulfill its mission to support local enterprises and entrepreneurs as they build capacity. FSU leadership believes the residents of Cumberland County and surrounding areas are poised to be economic engines for their communities. FSU also aims to diversify the business community by ensuring minorities and women have the support they need to succeed with their ventures.
Thanks to the vision of FSU Chancellor Darrell Allision, the HUB will play a key role in fostering economic growth across the entire region and showcasing the skills and talents of the people of Southeastern North Carolina. The University also would like to thank the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, and the state of North Carolina for supporting this vision and investing in the area's economic future.
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