The great thing about the American free enterprise system is that anyone can start a business. The unfortunate downside is that no one is guaranteed success.
You must be willing to work hard, certainly, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Even if you’re very good at what you do, how much do you know about marketing, finances, legal considerations, or managing employees?
Helping entrepreneurs navigate those challenges is exactly why the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners opened the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center in downtown Lawrenceville last December. The center supports Gwinnett-based entrepreneurs by reducing risks and mitigating challenges during startup and growth, and it intentionally engages with underserved populations to help create jobs and spur innovation.
In a unique partnership, Georgia Gwinnett College staffs the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center with support from the Gwinnett County Office of Economic Development. Student interns from GGC also help conduct center activities.
The center is designed to nurture small business startups with coaching from knowledgeable staff, networking opportunities, peer-to-peer learning, coworking space, office space, and access to conference and training rooms, printing, copying, and a private mailbox. The center staff works with member businesses to develop a business plan to stand up or ramp up their operations. After completing certain agreed-upon milestones, each entrepreneur will be certified as a graduate of the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center.
Non-member entrepreneurs and even non-residents will find support in the form of business classes and workshops, business coaching, networking, and connections to customers, capital, and market research. The center manager regularly takes time to meet one-on-one with non-member small businesses.
In the center’s first six months of operation, 25 small businesses have been selected for membership out of more than 100 applications received. As entrepreneurs graduate, new members will be selected to join. Already, member businesses have hired 28 part-time and 19 full-time employees, meeting a goal to bolster our local economy.
Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center
405 North Perry Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046
If you are interested in membership, a great first step is taking a tour. The staff will walk you through the center and explains the benefits, purpose, and mission of the center while answering your questions about how they can help you. It can help you decide if the program is a fit for you and your business.
You can sign up for a tour and find more information at GwinnettCounty.com under economic development or by contacting at GEC@GwinnettCounty.com.
Gwinnett is very good at attracting businesses and investments from all over the world. Now we are proudly growing businesses from within our own community.