National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation

Community and economic development go hand in hand in Jacksonville, Fla.

by Bridget Lair

August 2011

Starting a new business venture is never an easy task. But during the recent economic downturn, many entrepreneurs – and the business incubation programs that assist them – have faced even more challenges. Add to this situation poverty, crime and high out-migration of skilled individuals and you face the same challenges as the Beaver Street Enterprise Center in Jacksonville, Fla., winner of NBIA's 2010 Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year award in the nontechnology category.

BSEC is Jacksonville's only incubator and one of few in the U.S. located in a core city environment. High unemployment and a deteriorating neighborhood surrounding the incubator have created obstacles to strong business development, yet BSEC has prevailed. Since 2003, BSEC resident and affiliate clients generated more than 1,300 new jobs and $36 million in revenue. Operating at 92 percent occupancy, BSEC recently broke ground on a new 13,000-square-foot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design facility in its Beaver Street neighborhood to house stage-two companies and recent incubator graduates.

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Keywords: business plan – incubator, economic development, special focus incubator, venture capital, youth incubation

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