Entrepreneurship Initiative Approved Projects: Georgia
PROJECT: Coosa Valley Technical College Entrepreneurship/Incubator Project
Description: The purpose of the Entrepreneurship/Incubator Project was to help start and expand new businesses by focusing on entrepreneurial education, training, facility availability and management support. During the term of the ARC grant, several outputs were generated which impacted directly the creation/retention of the jobs indicated. The outputs included renovation, wiring, and other issues relative to the incubator facilities. Completed outcomes included the incubation of 9 tenant businesses, the creation of 4 new businesses, the creation of 45 new jobs, and the retention of 91 existing jobs. The grantee also provide various types of training to 385 persons in over 21 separate class sessions.
PROJECT: Coosa Valley Technical College Entrepreneurship/Incubator Project, Phase II
Description: Coosa Valley Technical College will continue to assist individuals with business startup information and training, provide new businesses with vital support, and lease a 38,500 square foot incubator to tenant businesses in its three-county service area. Phase I project outcomes-to-date include the incubation of 9 tenant businesses, the creation of 4 new businesses, the creation of 45 new jobs, and the retention of 91 existing jobs. Phase II of the project will continue to utilize the resources of the State Department of Technical and Adult Education (SDTAE), Georgia Virtual Technical College (GVTC), the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) and various local entities. This collective partnership of resource providers will provide those interested in starting a business with the most current skills, provide local legal/insurance information, and conduct training workshops. Projected outcomes include support for 8 incubator tenants, skills training for 284 people, and the creation of 35 new jobs.
PROJECT: Entrepreneurial Education Program
Description: The North Georgia Appalachian Development Center will offer a variety of services and programs in capital access, business development, and technology utilization. These include the sponsorship of small business seminars on capital access and business development programs on management, financing, and marketing. Activities include the creation of specialized rural business outreach programs that address specific workforce education requests, and the development of specialized electronic marketing seminars for tourism agencies. Finally the program will award scholarships for participation in a regional "tourism school" that provides training in tourism marketing techniques. An estimated 25 people are expected to enroll in the capital access seminars, 35 people in the information technology forums, and 40 people the workshops on technology utilization. In addition, this project is expected to provide outreach services to 12 businesses.
Purpose: To train small businesses and community agencies in the use of the new technology for marketing and commerce and to provide information sessions on building rural capacity to support technology-based industry.
Description: During the first year of the program, the North Georgia Appalachian Development Center served over 400 students in over thirty classes, workshops and conferences. The current project will focus on training and supporting Appalachian businesses and community development agencies in using new technology to enhance entrepreneurship. The grantee projects approximately 24 classes, workshops, and conferences will be held serving 258 participants. In addition, the grantee will incubate 6 new websites. The Center will also serve the community by providing a supplemental high school course on entrepreneurial technology usage with additional instruction in Spanish. In addition, an e-commerce incubator will be developed, and seminars for industry and tourism and conferences for communities interested in building an information technology industry will be held. The grantee has the ongoing support of the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program, the Small Business Development Center, Georgia Institute of Technology, North Georgia Technical Institute, the Mountain Partnership Loan Fund, and other resource providers.
PROJECT: Entrepreneurial Education Program, Phase III
Description: In the previous two phases of this project, the Georgia Appalachian Development Center, a unit of North Georgia College and State University, provided entrepreneurship education to nearly 1,100 students in more than 100 classes, workshops, and conferences. This year's project, while continuing to offer classes on web design, development, marketing, and e-commerce, will focus on helping establish community and business alliances through technology leadership training in collaboration with Georgia Tech. The grantee will also focus on working with the Georgia Mountains Cultural Alliance (GMCA), a group of regional arts, crafts, and heritage groups, to help further their reach. This group formed following the ARC-sponsored Building Creative Economies Conference held in Asheville in early 2002. Plans for sustainability include regular funding from NGCSU starting July 2003 along with modest tuition fees collected for workshops, and instructional programs. Projected outcomes include the involvement of 188 participants and the creation of 20 new jobs and 6 new businesses. Additionally, the grantee will serve 30 businesses.
Description: North Georgia Technical Institute (NGTI) has an entrepreneurial education program consisting of three curriculum modules. These modules cover topics such as business planning, financing, tax law, and other business regulations. In addition the curriculum introduces the trainees to other resources available to entrepreneurs in the region. The NGTI program entails researching available educational programs, developing the three curriculum modules, and exploring and developing alternative delivery methods. This program targets several audiences: high school students; vocational career students, and the general public.
Completed outcomes for the grant period include the development of three pilot entrepreneurial courses, involving 60 students in 5 separate course offerings. Additionally, the courses are available via the Internet and the GSAMS network of Georgia technical institutes.
Description: This project expanded activities undertaken in its first year to: 1) continue to offer curriculum developed in year one, 2) develop a resource center for local entrepreneurs, 3) offer modified entrepreneurship curriculum to the local high school populations, 4) host a mini-expo for entrepreneurs, and 5) complete an incubator feasibility study for the area. Completed outcomes include the creation of 10 new businesses and the participation of 88 students in the entrepreneurial training programs during the grant period Partnerships with high schools did not work out as expected but the grantee will continue to work with high schools in the area . The Small Business Resource Center opened providing one-on-one guidance in conducting research and writing business and marketing plans. The Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education will continue funding for the program for the next fiscal year without ARC grant funds.
PROJECT: Mountain Work Partnership Loan Fund
Description: This project will ensure that those people with the drive to be micro-entrepreneurs will have access to education, expertise, and the support needed for them to succeed. The North Georgia Technical Institute, through its Small Business Resource Center, and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center will serve as the primary providers of entrepreneurial education and technical assistance to those who apply for and receive microloans. The likelihood of business success for the loan recipient will thereby be increased. The Partnership Loan Fund director will oversee the fund, supervise the outreach and business mentor components, staff an advisory committee to the project and the loan review committee, and coordinate the activities of service providers to the loan recipients. This project will provide an estimated minimum of 20 loans during its first year. In addition, 25 people are expected to participate in a microenterprise workshop.
PROJECT: Mountain Work Partnership Loan Fund, Phase II
Description: This project will result in approximately 10 new small business loans and 10 new jobs. MPLF will continue its existing mission to provide access to credit and technical assistance to people with disabilities, women avoiding Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and others who have little or no access to conventional loans. The MPLF has already resulted in 7 small business loans of $5,000 each. These loans have led to the creation of 8 full-time and 8 part-time jobs. In this continuation grant, ARC funds will be used to support loan fund operations and to recapitalize the fund. North Georgia Technical Institute, the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, and North Georgia College and State University will continue to provide entrepreneurial education and technical assistance to the MPLF's loan applicants and recipients. The ACE board and the MPLF loan committee will review the loan fund portfolio with Community Bank and Trust.
PROJECT: Mountain Work Partnership Loan Fund, Phase III
Description: The Mountain Partnership Loan Fund has achieved the following outcomes since making its first loan in July 2000: 25 loans worth a total of $106,681 made to 20 businesses since July 2000, 20 full-time and 12 part-time jobs created, 87% of accounts current, and only one loan default worth $4,270. In this continuation grant, ARC funds will be used to develop a sustainability plan, provide technical assistance, and market the MPLF. Also, Community Bank and Trust will supply the MPLF with $250,000 for re-lending and will review the MPLF's loan portfolio. Projected outcomes include 20 loan applicants, 40 loan recipients, and the creation of 18 new jobs and 12 new businesses.
Description: The grantee will create a New Markets Tax Credit Matching Fund that will provide recoverable grants to member financial institutions who agree to invest at least the recoverable grant plus a like amount into funds qualifying for New Markets Tax Credits. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB) has committed $800,000 to this program, of which a minimum of $200,000 is set aside for investments in at least four funds that target Appalachia. The FHLB's member financial institutions (banks) will provide a 1:1 matching investment in order to obtain the FHLB grant. ARC funds will be made available to support matching bank investments. This matching fund program will be administered by the FHLB of Atlanta.
Description: The North Georgia Technical College will establish two demonstration projects that will create 50 new jobs by using land-based aquatic systems to farm and sell specialty seafood and aquatic plants. The demonstration projects will utilize suitable live fish-stock, fish ponds, fish-feed, classroom instruction, training workshops and curriculum materials needed to provide entrepreneurial training in areas related to aquaculture. The workshops, research and data resulting from this project will be made available to students attending North Georgia Technical College and all other interested entrepreneurs.
Projected outcomes include: 50 persons getting involved in entrepreneurial activities, 100 persons taking a tour of the aquaculture sites located in Appalachian, Georgia, 75 new or existing businesses receiving support, and the creation of 50 new jobs and the retention of 50 existing jobs.
PROJECT: Northwest Georgia Small Business Incubator Feasibility Study
Description: The project funded a feasibility study that evaluated the critical factors necessary for the success of a small business incubator and characterized likely incubator clients and their needs. The feasibility study revealed that the City of Rossville, Georgia and the surrounding market area could support a business incubator as proposed. All of the organizations that participated in the study believe that it is comprehensive in its scope and logical in its approach and general methodology. The grantee's next step is to form a committee of potential stakeholders in the proposed incubator in order to identify the most viable facilities. This process will also involve identifying the acquisition and renovation costs of the potential facilities. Finally, the grantee will seek potential funding partners to help cover these costs. The grantee's original projections of 180 new jobs and 20 new businesses within a 3-year period are unchanged.
PROJECT: Stephens Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP)
Description: The purpose of the Stephens Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) was to provide the instruction and experience necessary for students to develop and sustain a business. Stephens County High School implemented a new class based on the Georgia Department of Education's business education curriculum, culminating in the development of a business plan by students. Supplemental materials included those developed and shared by the North Georgia Technical College and the Georgia Department of Education. The development and potential execution of a business plan was the central theme of the entrepreneurship course. STEP students developed a business plan based on computer manufacturing and retail. The Stephens County school system purchases 75-300 computers annually and has agreed to purchase 150 computers built by STEP students. During the grant period, 12 students were enrolled in the entrepreneurship class, 73 students participated in the computer repair business component, and 20 volunteer mentors provided guidance to the students.