Small Businesses

Small businesses and entrepreneurs play a critical role in Mississippi, not only within supply chains for the Federal, State and local agencies, large government contractors and Federal labs, but as drivers of the regional economy.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem is being cultivated by a variety of people and programs across the state designed to help start-ups and scale-ups achieve their potential. Sectors like the Blue Economy, National Security and Aerospace represent real growth opportunities for innovators in Mississippi.

Business Incubators & Accelerators

Incubators and accelerators offer much more than just physical space to aspiring and growth entrepreneurs and their teams. From access to funding, markets and talent, these programs connect entrepreneurs with mentors, advisors, special services like labs and advanced materials and the knowledge needed to develop business plans and pitches.


V-quad’s mission is to build an innovative, virtual incubator network to support Mississippi entrepreneurs and innovators launching businesses focused on energy- and agriculture-related technologies.

The program will help new technology companies seeking to commercialize energy and agriculture related technologies find technical assistance and financial networks with specific focus in these areas. V-Quad’s goal is to form public-private partnerships that connect Mississippi’s research universities, industry, government and non-profits into a cohesive, tech-based network.

The Accelerator: USM's Innovation and Commercialization Park

The Accelerator is designed to cultivate ideas from mind to matter to market and specialized for innovation in composites, polymers, formulation science, biotechnology, sustainable chemistry, alternative energy and more.

Small Business Development Centers

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) Sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in partnership with state and local governments, the educational community and the private sector, the SBDC provides business management and technical assistance, training, and research to small business owners to improve their profitability and stimulate growth. The Mississippi Small Business Development Center Network provides the entrepreneur with education and training opportunities which cover a wide range of business topics. Research, both basic and applied, is available, giving the small business person more relevant data from which to draw upon for making decisions. The SBDC also acts as a clearing house by referring clients to other existing business programs, such as those sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Chamber of Commerce and many education institutions, public and private sector organizations. The concept of the SBDC is implemented through the assistance and cooperation of SBA. Nine (9) basic service centers throughout Mississippi are available to assist small business firms.

A Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can offer, at no cost to you, the following services:

  • In-depth counseling assistance to ensure more successful startups of new enterprises and to strengthen existing firms;
  • Business plans and loan packaging assistance;
  • Small business workshops/seminars;
  • The Small Business Institute Program;
  • Assistance to minorities, women, veterans, the handicapped, exporters, inventors, research and innovation and international trade;
  • Referral system linking other small business assistance organizations in the SBDC regional locations;
  • Interaction program between Mississippi educational institutions, businesses, and government.

Mississippi Business Development Center

USM Small Business Development Center

Mississippi Enterprise For Technology

The Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET) is located at the John C. Stennis Space Center, one of the nation’s largest federal cities. Originally formed through a joint effort between the State of Mississippi, NASA, and the Mississippi institutions of higher learning, MSET is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that facilitates regional economic development by leveraging the resources of Stennis Space Center, the State, and the region to foster business opportunities among public and private entities.

Using the scientific and technical resources of NASA and other resident agencies at Stennis, MSET promotes growth in existing industry, stimulates new business, and attracts high-tech companies to the region by providing companies crucial business and technology-related services, opportunities for partnerships and collaboration, entrepreneur resources and access to state and federal technology portfolios.

MSET Homepage

University Entrepreneurial Programs

Mississippi universities offer a wide range of educational programs and courses for entrepreneurship. Within the university setting, these programs provide would-be entrepreneurs with access to business courses, experiential learning, faculty with sector and subject matter expertise, networking opportunities, university resources and community connections. Some universities have unique capabilities in key technologies that are available to the student entrepreneur.