Making Business Better in Union County
On November 8th, 2022, voters in Union County approved a general obligation bond request for $32,725,000 to construct a new Center for Entrepreneurship for South Piedmont Community College. To learn more about the bond request, the proposed Center for Entrepreneurship and SPCC, the College has provided an FAQ below.
Q: What is the Center for Entrepreneurship?
A: The Center for Entrepreneurship will be a community resource center providing collaborative and innovative programming designed to support local small businesses and entrepreneurs in Union County.
The Center for Entrepreneurship would host the SPCC Small Business Center and offer classes, workshops and credential programs for community members looking to learn more about starting or growing a business. The Center would host business networking events, guest speaker seminars and business pitch competitions as opportunities for local business leaders and entrepreneurs to connect and engage with their peers.
Q: What Will Be Offered in the Center for Entrepreneurship?
A: The Center for Entrepreneurship will offer varied programming and events all tailored around growing and developing the business community and entrepreneurship in Union County. Exact programs and course lists are not yet available, but SPCC intends to offer programs that help students earn business and entrepreneurship degrees, certifications and badges.
Aside from traditional educational programming, the Center will offer a robust schedule of community events and non-credential-earning programs, such as individual lectures, seminars, personal development courses and networking events.
Small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to access the SPCC Small Business Center and all available resources related to the Small Business Center, which is currently housed in the Tyson Family Center for Technology (3509 Old Charlotte Highway, Monroe, NC 28110)
Q: Why does Union County Need a Center for Entrepreneurship?
A: In North Carolina over the past two years, new business creations have risen sharply as people look to establish themselves and start new businesses in light of the pandemic. In fact, over 300,000 new businesses were established in the state in 2020 and 2021 alone.
These new businesses are historically shown to be the primary job creators in the state and are likely to need additional support and resources as they establish and grow their businesses.
We’ve found that most resources that support business owners and entrepreneurs are fragmented, disconnected from other organizations or prohibitively expensive. SPCC believes that creating a Center for Entrepreneurship that leverages the community college’s resources, in partnership with organizations like the Small Business Center, Union County Chamber of Commerce, Wingate University and others, can fill a very urgent need for Union County small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The Center for Entrepreneurship is designed to help more business owners and entrepreneurs learn, connect, compete, launch and grow their businesses sustainably. This business growth and development will benefit all residents of Union County with higher tax revenues, better-paying jobs, more opportunities to dine and shop, and the ability to create an overall more prosperous community.
Q: Who will benefit from the Center for Entrepreneurship?
A: We believe all residents of Union County stand to benefit from this new community center.
Students who attend the programming and events at the new center will gain knowledge, skills and experience in business and entrepreneurship. Students who attend and complete courses and programs at the Center for Entrepreneurship will receive high-quality education to further their business goals.
Entrepreneurs and business owners who participate in events and programs (such as the 53 Ideas Pitch Competition) and receive support from the Small Business Center will be better able to succeed in establishing and growing their businesses.
The general population of Union County will benefit from having a robust and well-supported business community, better-paying jobs, opportunities for growth and recreation and overall quality of life.
Q: SPCC offers business courses and has a small business center. Why does it need the Center for Entrepreneurship?
A: The Center for Entrepreneurship provides a central location that combines all of our existing resources, including the Small Business Center and experiential, hands-on business education, into a community resource center that benefits the whole community.
By creating an educational home for business owners and entrepreneurs, the Center for Entrepreneurship will create opportunities for new resources, partnerships and collaboration that better serve the needs of business owners.
Q: Would the Center for Entrepreneurship be available to non-SPCC students?
A: Yes! This new facility would offer resources and support for business owners and entrepreneurs through the Small Business Center and would be open to the public.
There are also plans to offer community events and networking opportunities, though plans are still being developed.