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SU’s South Side Innovation Center awarded $750,000 federal grant for women’s business development
SU’s South Side Innovation Center awarded $750,000 federal grant for women’s business developmentOctober 11, 2006Amy Schmitzaemehrin@syr.edu
The Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) Program in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University has received a $750,000 grant over five years from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support a Women’s Business Center (WBC) that will be housed within the University’s South Side Innovation Center (SSIC). Named the Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) Center, it is one of just 14 new centers nationwide awarded by the SBA this year. The WISE Center will complement and be in alignment with the EEE program’s highly successful WISE initiative for women entrepreneurs in Central New York.
“I am proud that the federal government could be a partner in making this opportunity available,” says U.S. Rep. James Walsh (R?Syracuse). “It is important that we encourage the entrepreneurial spirit; small businesses are the foundation of our economy. The programs and activities provided by the SSIC and the WISE Center will surely enhance small business opportunities for women.”
“Entrepreneurship is a powerful force that can transform a community,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “Women-owned businesses comprise more than half of all new start-up businesses and generate billions of dollars in economic activity each year. Now, in a previously under-served area like Syracuse’s South Side, women who dream of starting and growing their own business will have access to the resources and expertise to make their dreams come true and to transform not only their own lives, but also their community. We once again thank Congressman Walsh for his strong support of SU and his commitment to this important program.”
The SBA grant was announced today at a news conference at the SSIC, located at 2610 S. Salina St. in Syracuse. Only 70 Women’s Business Centers exist nationwide, with seven located in New York state. The Syracuse WISE Center will provide a broad portfolio of entrepreneurial training programs for women entrepreneurs, as well as provide a virtual incubator for a number of women-owned businesses.
“We are pleased to provide financial support for Syracuse University’s WISE Center,” says William M. Manger, Region II administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration. “The variety of entrepreneurial training programs that will be offered for women entrepreneurs will help to level the playing field for self-employed women in Onondaga County. The WISE Center will play a vital role in helping women business owners prosper, strengthen the local economy, and bring vitality to the community.”
WBCs represent a national network of more than 100 education resource centers designed to assist women start and grow small businesses.
“We are extremely thankful for this wonderful award from the SBA,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School of Management. “EEE is very highly regarded and is committed to delivering the best possible program in entrepreneurship to students, practitioners and community members alike. We are confident the WISE Center will ensure additional future successes for the program, the Whitman School and the University.”
Launched in April 2006, the South Side Innovation Center is a 14,000-square-foot, inner-city business incubator, designed to foster the creation of new ventures as well as to help make existing ones sustainable. The program is part of the larger South Side Entrepreneurial Connect Initiative (SSECP), which seeks to identify and support 100 sustainable ventures over five years and includes infrastructure building, student and faculty engagement through consulting teams, a microcredit fund, training programs for entrepreneurs, and opportunities for minority purchasing. The EEE program in the Whitman School is ranked first among graduate entrepreneurship programs and second for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs nationwide by Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review.
For more information or to schedule interviews, contact Amy Mehringer, communications manager for the Whitman School of Management, at (315) 443-3834.