Small Business Center Director Receives State Award
Katelyn Edmondson, director of the Small Business Center at Edgecombe Community College, recently received an Innovation Award from the NC Community College System Small Business Center Network.
Edmondson received the Innovation Award – Programs and Seminars, along with Theresa Peaden, director of the Nash Community College Small Business Center, and Melissa Evans, director of the Wilson Community College Small Business Center.
These Small Business Centers formed a three-way collaboration to launch the first Ag Summit in their region. Known as the N.E.W. Business of Agriculture: Regional Opportunities for Growth in Nash, Edgecombe, and Wilson Counties, the free event was held at Wilson Community College on November 30, 2018.
More than 200 participants heard presentations and toured exhibits featuring local and regional agriculture experts, who provided up-to-date information and resources for food and farming businesses.
“Through the Ag Summit, we were able to connect with farmers on the business side of the industry, which sometimes goes unnoticed,” Edmondson explains. “The ag experts covered a broad range of topics, from starting a food-based business to growing industrial hemp to incorporating agritourism at an existing farm.
“Collaborating with the Small Business Centers at Nash and Wilson community colleges was a terrific experience,” she adds. “We saw turnout from every community in our counties, which was especially rewarding.”
The annual statewide awards honor achievements of Small Business Centers and their directors.
“Small Business Centers are leading the way in economic development, with strong measurable impact and strategic collaboration across North Carolina. That’s why we’re pleased to recognize the accomplishments of these outstanding center directors and the success of their programs,” says Peter Hans, president of the NC Community College System.
“They help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of starting businesses, and those businesses create jobs and have a significant economic impact in their local communities.”
Located at all 58 community colleges in the state, Small Business Centers contribute to North Carolina’s economic development, starting an average of 700 small businesses and creating or retaining more than 3,000 jobs each year.