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FAMU launches small business incubator for local entrepreneurs

Posted at 7:22 PM, May 03, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) — FAMU and the Florida Small Business Development Center are partnering to create a small business incubator for people looking to set up shop in Tallahassee.

This space is meant for people living in the area like Jennifer Phillips, who received support from the Small Business Development Center at FAMU to create her thriving tutoring business in Crawfordville.

"Walking into the business side of Crawfordville as opposed to the residents side of Crawfordville was a bit of a challenge," Phillips said.

A challenge to get started with Phillip's business, North Florida Learning Center.

However, FAMU's new small business incubator aims to help entrepreneurs like Phillips navigate.

Director Ron McCoy said many people do not know where to start with managing a business and the incubator could be that beginning.

"It's going to cover topics from A to Z. How to set it up, how to get funding for the business, how to actually manage those funds, how to actually go out and hire those employees," McCoy said.

With a new space on Tennessee Street, Ron and the ten others admitted to the program will meet weekly to learn about the essentials of business.

Essentials like what LaTanya White learned through similar workshops with the small business development center that she said helped her help others.

"It really comes down to what kind of impact we can create through your business and the incubator will help you to scale that, really package it and scale that so you can transform lives," White said.

One other way the incubator will transform lives: job creation.

According to the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, the city needs to add over 17,000 jobs by 2030 to remain competitive with other areas.

McCoy said that helping small businesses will aid in that goal.

"People often think of the large employers being I guess sort of the most important employers in the region. And those are good businesses for a community, but small business is the backbone of a community. And that's who we're here to help," McCoy said.

Applications to participate in the incubator program will open toward the end of May or beginning June.

Wells Fargo awarded Florida A&M University with a $100,000 in October of 2021 to launch the Small Business Incubator program. The grant money was used to hire a program manager, construction of the physical location within the FAMU Foundation building and provide administrative support.

This was part of a $500,000 investment from Wells Fargo across Orlando and Tallahassee.