State grant to open Center for Entrepreneurs at Oswego

A new Center for Entrepreneurs will open at SUNY Oswego through a $125,000 New York state grant secured through state Sen. James W. Wright.

The center will link the expertise of SUNY Oswego’s Center for Business and Community Development and School of Business with entrepreneurial education and opportunities for students and members of the business community to engage in hands-on learning, Wright said.

“The resources already available through SUNY Oswego offer local businesses tools for success and economic development,” Wright said. “The addition of the new center will provide a needed niche that will foster the entrepreneurial spirit and help provide established and would-be business owners the ability to create a coherent and decisive business plan.”

The grant allows the Center for Business and Community Development to expand on and hone its programming to meet this demand, said Nancy Bellow, director of the center.

“We are now starting to distinguish between small business development and services for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are people who have an idea or vision, see a niche and develop their business skills around it,” Bellow said.

The grant will help launch the center by providing facilities, equipment and technology such as computers that will help entrepreneurs develop business plans and Internet-based market research. Other resources, such as a research library, expert advisers and a network of service providers, will develop as enhancements of the center’s current efforts to help small businesses, Bellow said.

Having a Center for Entrepreneurs helps navigate the high-risk yet high-reward nature of these startups, she said. Innovative ideas that seek a niche face challenges as they begin, but they can grow rapidly and have a wider impact if they have the opportunity to succeed.

“Entrepreneurs and small business owners take a risk by establishing new enterprises,” Wright said. “The new center will reduce that risk by pointing them in the right direction.” Entrepreneurs represent “the backbone of our economy and by helping them, we are helping support the economy of our county and region,” he added.

“SUNY Oswego is very pleased that Senator Wright thought of us for the Center for Entrepreneurs,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said. “This center will do much to provide education and training and help us nurture and develop current and future entrepreneurs. Through the Center for Entrepreneurs, the college will partner with business to create jobs and improve the regional economy.”

For more information, call the Center for Business and Community Development at 312-3492.

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(Posted: Jan 26, 2005)