Shaw University and Carolina Small Business Development Fund Open Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

Entrepreneurs / 1st March 2017

Officials from Shaw University and Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF) launch an entrepreneurship center aimed at expanding small business development and economic empowerment within Southeast Raleigh and beyond.

The mission of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center is to provide an ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs that will foster innovation and help them establish and sustain high growth companies and small businesses.

“The Center is a result of our combined commitment to increase access to capital and business services for Main Street small businesses in Southeast Raleigh and beyond. We believe this will have a lasting economic impact and represent a model than can be duplicated. We are excited to begin this model initiative with Shaw University,” said Lenwood V. Long, Sr., President/CEO of Carolina Small Business Development Fund.

The purpose of the Center is to inspire, connect, encourage and support startups, students and existing entrepreneurs. It will provide potential business owners with space to create and develop business ideas, business plans, and find resources for financing, networking and capacity building to bring entrepreneurial concepts to the marketplace.

The Center is led by Talib Graves-Manns, a fourth generation entrepreneur and co-founder of three businesses whose passion is to build innovative businesses. “The Center is an example of the type of bridge that has been missing between the disparate capital, corporate and educational communities. Without such bridges, individual and collective success has been muted and precluded all together. Therefore, the Center enables ambition, governance and opportunity, an ideal recipe we hope will not just benefit those associated with us, but inspire others to follow,” said Talib Graves-Manns, Director of the Center.

Open to Shaw University faculty, staff, alumni, students, and entrepreneurs of the community, the Center offers space for classroom instruction, research technology and professional mentorship from local business owners. The Center also offers incubation to two small businesses from the Southeast Raleigh community.

“Shaw University is excited to partner with the Carolina Small Business Fund to launch this critical resource for our community of entrepreneurs,” said Shaw University president, Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy. “Raleigh is a national leader in connecting startup culture and investment with several emerging industries. We are proud to serve as a workforce development partner in this ambitious venture,” said Dubroy.

For more information about the Center, please visit

About Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Carolina Small Business Development Fund’s mission is to foster economic development in underserved communities by providing capital, business services, and policy research to support small businesses. Since 2010, Carolina Small Business has invested more than $34.3 million through 475 loans to small businesses across North Carolina helping to create or retain more than 1,018 jobs.

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