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South Side Innovation Center

Syracuse, N.Y.

Bob Herz, director

Year established: 2006

Incubator size: 13,500 square feet

Incubator clients: 27 resident and approximately 330 affiliate

Incubator graduates: 29

www.southsideinnovation.org

Achievements: Since 2006, the South Side Innovation Center has played an important role in helping to create an entrepreneurial community in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Central New York. Through its Inclusive Entrepreneurship program, SSIC provides a seamless approach to entrepreneurial training and services for clients, from initial assessments of personal and professional skills through help with business plan development, access to its community business partners program, aid in entity creation, access to micro-credit loans and help in opening markets.

SSIC provides services to all interested entrepreneurs, but it also has targeted programs for traditionally underserved entrepreneurial groups including low-income individuals, people with disabilities, women and minorities. “The expansion of Inclusive Entrepreneurship has led to our ability to provide services even to typically hard-to-reach populations, including a contract with the State Commission on the Blind and Visually Handicapped, under which we provide services to blind and visually impaired individuals, and a grant to provide entrepreneurial services to survivors of domestic violence, among many others,” says Bob Herz, SSIC director. In addition to traditional incubation services, SSIC houses a WISE Women’s Business Center (funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration); Start-Up NY, an entrepreneurial training program for persons with disabilities; SBA PRIME (Program for Investment in MicroEntrepreneurs), assisting low-income entrepreneurs; a community test kitchen; and an Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (funded by New York state), focusing on business counseling, business plan development and training. Since inception, SSIC has provided more than 1,500 entrepreneurs with hands-on business counseling, training and mentoring and has helped create over 130 new businesses.

   

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