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 Accelerators & Incubators
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.
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.
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.