About Us

Entrepreneurship Center Launch March 2006

The Entrepreneurship Center is a national program designed to encourage entrepreneurship in urban areas, particularly among minority entrepreneurs. In Jacksonville, the program is sponsored by the Jacksonville Urban League and is operated at the Jacksonville Entrepreneurship Center. Nationally, the founding partners are the National Urban League, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, National Economic Council of the White House, the Business Roundtable.

The program has two key components: ECNet, a referral network to business assistance programs, and the Entrepreneurship Business Mentor Program, an intensive coaching component for high-potential minority entrepreneurs.

What is ECNet?

The ECNet is a community referral network which links minority business owners in the Jacksonville area to local Resource Partners who provide services to help small businesses grow and prosper.

ECNet provides

  • Easy access to a specialized network of service providers offering a broad range of expertise
  • Quick links to the appropriate resources to assist in starting or growing a business

How does it work?

  • When ECNet is contacted through the Hotline or via the Web, information is gathered about the business and the business challenges being faced
  • ECNet staff go to work to research the best area resources that can help meet the challenges and provide the appropriate referral to the minority business owner
  • ECNet staff follow up with everyone who accesses the network to find out how things are going
 What is the Entrepreneurship Business Mentor Program?

The Entrepreneurship Business Mentor Program is designed to assist high-potential minority entrepreneurs with intensive, one-on-one coaching designed to help that entrepreneur meet the goals he or she has set.

While the Jacksonville Entrepreneurship Center assists all categories of entrepreneurs and businesses, from micro to large, the focus of the coaching component will be on those small sized companies that meet specific criteria for direct assistance.

We will try to identify firms that have the highest growth potential and are likely to have the greatest impact in terms of job creation and urban economic development.  The coaching process will prepare those firms for expanded financing, procurement opportunities and help them develop business relationships with major corporations.