Established in 1984, the University of North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) focuses on helping North Carolina businesses grow and create new jobs. To do so, SBTDC provides free management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses, as well as research, planning facilitation and strategy development to public and private sector organizations so they can foster and enhance their communities’ business environment. With 17 offices located across the state on University of North Carolina campuses, SBTDC can tap into University faculty, staff, and student expertise and connect area businesses interested in additional support to student interns.
Founded in 1967 to provide job training for workers transitioning from an agricultural, segregated economy to an industrial, integrated one, MDC (formerly know as Manpower Development Corporation) now works to catalyze economic progress across the South through training and employment, community college improvement, rural economic development, strategic philanthropy, workforce competitiveness, school reform, and grassroots community leadership. Through its Work Supports Initiative, MDC created and now manages The Benefit Bank of North Carolina (TBB-NC), a statewide effort that connects low and moderate-income North Carolinians to work and educational supports such as tax credits, food and health benefits, and student financial aid. Since 2010, TBB-NC has helped 32,000 low-income households access $48 million in supports.
iNvictus is a coworking office space that offers mentoring, consulting, and other supports to Durham area entrepreneurs and startups, with a focus on minority entrepreneurs. Through its EMERGE (Entrepreneurship, Mentorship, Economic Development, Research, Growth & Education) Forward Outreach initiative, iNvictus aims to provide minority entrepreneurs with the consulting and mentorship needed to grow strong, sustainable businesses. Since the program’s launch in 2010, it has supported about 300 enterprises. EMERGE Forward also runs a range of initiatives to expose youth to entrepreneurship including camps, after-school programs, and in-school curriculum.
The Helius Foundation provides small businesses and necessity-driven entrepreneurs (i.e., people who cannot find traditional, living wage employment) with free business training and coaching, and access to low-interest microloans. In 2017, the nonprofit supported 47 entrepreneurs, eight of whom launched businesses.
Founded in 1990, the Durham Regional Financial Center aims to nurture financial resilience and financial security for Durham area individuals, families, and communities. To do so, the nonprofit offers free seminars, workshops, and low-cost, one-on-one counseling focused on homeownership, budgeting, debt management, and related topics. Through its EMPWRU Initiative, the Center also conducts research on strategies that foster financial empowerment for low- and moderate-income families and provides data and information to lawmakers and community advocates working to advance policies that promote a more prosperous economy for all area residents.