BRADENTON — Local entrepreneurs can now have a one-stop-shop when looking for help in getting their businesses off the ground.
This week, the newly formed Suncoast Center for Entrepreneurship officially opened. The group, an amalgamation of four area organizations helping new business owners in the startup phase, is intent on building up a portion of the business community that accounts for most of the jobs in Manatee County.
Partners in the venture are Inspiration Academy in Bradenton, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, The HuB co-working center in Sarasota, business incubator Spark Growth and Cincinnati Christian University.
The center’s backers also intend to bring private and state money into play to fund the best business ideas out there. That, center partners say, would help put small business on par with big business in Florida. Currently, 89 percent of state business incentive dollars go to businesses with more than 100 employees, according to a study recently published by national policy center Good Jobs First.
The kickoff event drew about 100 business owners and leaders to the Manatee Performing Arts Center. Nick Choat, a Sports Clips franchisee who owns hair styling shops in Bradenton and Sarasota, said he’s a believer in bringing resources together to get more people working for themselves and creating jobs.”You need more critical mass,” Choat said.
Sara Hand, one of the founders of Spark Growth, feels the same way.
“If we work together, we can really do more,” she said.
Read the full article at the Bradenton Herald