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What makes the National Entrepreneur Center different?

Each organization that resides at the National Entrepreneur Center is dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the businesses that visit the center. From free business coaching and advisory boards to export assistance and low-cost business seminars, there is something for every business here at our center. Since 90% of all the businesses in Florida have fewer than ten employees, most of the businesses that visit the center tend to be smaller businesses. However, there are resources, programs, and connections for businesses at any stage of development.

Traditional economic development agencies typically focus on recruiting new companies to our state, while also working to retain Florida businesses. We have created a very collaborative, efficient, and networked environment that can serve companies who wish to move here and assist the ones who are already here. At the same time, we can nurture the seeds of the ideas that will become the companies of tomorrow.

Why did you relocate to Orlando Fashion Square?

After careful consideration of options  (and seeking community input), the decision to move was made in 2010 and completed in May of 2011. So far, this change has been extremely positive for our resident organizations, our clients, and the community.

 

Benefits include:

-Free, ample parking
-Lower rental expenses
-Room to grow
-Easier client access
-State of the art technology
-No additional costs of relocation

Where are you located?

We are inside Orlando Fashion Square at 3201 E. Colonial Drive, Suite A20, Orlando, Florida, 32803. Our main entrance is near the free parking garage on Maguire Blvd just north of Colonial Drive (between Planet Fitness and JC Penny). Look for the mall entrance that has green vines painted on the exterior entrance. For the easiest access, park on the ground level of the garage (Row A).

Can I get a grant to start my business?

Occasionally grants may be available for starting a business. However, finding a grant that applies to your business and qualifying can be a time-consuming process, especially for a for-profit entity. The first step is to locate a grant provider and obtain the qualifications. Then, follow those application guidelines carefully. The National Entrepreneur Center serves for-profit entities primarily and as a result, has limited capabilities in assistance with grant applications.

How do I start a business?

First of all, we recommend coming to the center and engaging the resources provided here. You can also view a summary of the start-up by clicking on the “Business Toolbox“.

What business support organizations are located at the center?

Click on the Resource Partners tab to the left to get a list of all the organizations here at the National Entrepreneur Center.

Where do I obtain an application for an SBA loan?

All lenders that participate with the SBA have applications available. However, since there are several variations of SBA’s loan programs, it is helpful to check with your lender or visit one of our service providers before filling out an application

What are the alternatives in financing a business?

Committing your own funds is often the first financing step and it is certainly the best indicator of how serious you are about your business. Risking your own money gives confidence for others to invest in your business. You may also want to consider a partner for additional financing, as well as family resources, and of course banks are always a source of funds. Other loan sources include commercial finance companies, venture capital firms, local development companies and life insurance companies. Trade credit, selling stock and equipment leasing do offer some alternatives to borrowing. For example, leasing can be an advantage because it does not tie up your cash. Service providers at the National Entrepreneur Center can provide pertinent information about these various financial alternatives.

How do I apply for an SBA Loan?

SBA offers several loan programs which are described at its website (www.sba.gov). The SBA does not make loans directly, but it will guarantee loans made by SBA approved lenders. You can locate a business counselor who can assist you in preparing your SBA application loan application by clicking “Meet With A Business Coach.”

Can I operate a business from my home?

Yes. But you may need to register your business with your city and county. Experts estimate that as many as 20% of new small business enterprises are operated out of the owner’s home. Resource partners at the National Entrepreneur Center can provide information on how to manage and grow a home-based business.

What is a business plan and why do I need one?

A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals and serves as a road map for your success. The basic components include a summary of your idea, your marketing plans and your financial projections a balance sheet, an income statement and a cash flow analysis. Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan package.

Good planning is CRITICAL to your success!

Does the National Entrepreneur Center provide any specific help to veterans?

Most service providers at the center can support a veteran of the armed services planning to open a new business. An excellent place to start is the SBA Veterans Program (www.sba.gov/VETS). Make an appointment with one of our service providers, who will not only share their expertise but connect you with other resources devoted to veterans.

Does the National Entrepreneur Center have any resources specifically for women?

Women entrepreneurs play a critical role in our nation’s economy, and we are committed to expanding this presence. Although all of our service providers are well-equipped to support women business owners, the National Association of Women Business Owners accurately represents the interests of women entrepreneurs. For more information, click “Resource Partners.”

Is the National Entrepreneur Center just for start-up companies?

Not at all! Our resource partners have a variety of programs directed at middle market and high growth companies. From CEO round tables to free advisory boards, you can find support and resources that you need to take your business to the next level!

Who can use the National Entrepreneur Center?

Anyone can use the resources found at the National Entrepreneur Center. The center not only provides services at our Orlando facility, but we have partnering organizations throughout Florida, and our web-based resources are available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Do I have to pay for services at the National Entrepreneur Center?

Many of the services that you receive at the National Entrepreneur Center are free of charge, including use of the Innovation Center and most counseling sessions. Some training classes offered do require a nominal fee, and there are some organizations at the center that do require membership.

How can the National Entrepreneur Center help my business?

Whether you’re working on a business plan or an exit strategy, the National Entrepreneur Center has something to offer you. Each resource partner brings a unique specialty to serve those who visit the center. Some clients request one-on-one counseling, while others prefer to attend an educational seminar or network with other business owners. Since many of the services are free, we invite you to visit the center to see what programs and or resources would be most beneficial to you.

What is the National Entrepreneur Center?

The National Entrepreneur Center was founded in 2003 through the collaboration of the University of Central Florida, The US Small Business Administration, Orange County Government and The Walt Disney World Company to stimulate economic development in Central Florida. By creating a single location that houses a variety of business assistance organizations, the National Entrepreneur Center provides easy access to industry connections, business counseling and relevant business training. This has accelerated the development and growth of small businesses in Central Florida and beyond.

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