Two HBCUs in South Carolina Partnering in Entrepreneurial Initiative

Historically Black South Carolina State University, historically Black Claflin University and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College have entered into a partnership to establish the Orangeburg Regional Innovation Center.

The center will be the organizing force for startup companies specializing in technology innovation and other high growth areas in the Orangeburg region. At the new center, startups will be provided access to education, mentorship, counseling and assistance with finding funding sources so that they can become financially viable and contribute to the economic growth of the region and state. Businesses will have access to marketing resources and services geared toward recruitment and retention. The center will also serve as a hub to connect new and growing companies with business and workforce development support.

The overall goal of the center is to energize and elevate Orangeburg’s economy and encourage entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses in the region. The parties involved aim to accomplish this by creating a cohesive network of economic development organizations and educational institutions to efficiently position new and existing companies for success. The center will provide various services, including business planning, education and training, funding, and special programs to help startups innovate and grow.

“The Innovation Center will allow us to enhance our outreach to the community and be a catalyst in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Orangeburg region,” said Barbara Adams, dean of the College of Business at South Carolina State University.

The project is scheduled to be implemented by April 1. The first objectives will be to identify and hire staff and consultants, host training workshops, obtain internships for students, host community events, and coordinate funding sources.

South Carolina State University received $225,000 from the state government to help fund the project.

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