Communities with accelerators, incubators and technical training programs often become the new home neighborhoods for businesses that are started. Managers of the Greenville Small Business Development Center and startup sector hubs like Next Innovation Center and The Iron Yard say they are seeing many of their entrepreneurs, including those attracted from other regions, stick around.

Ken Brower, who previously lived in Chicago and Los Angeles, was among the Next program’s first group of eight entrepreneurs. Brower became senior vice president at information technology services provider NWN Corp. after it acquired a Greenville application development company that he co-founded. He lives in Greenville.

“It’s definitely lifestyle,” Brower said. “This is where I want to live.”

John Moore, from right, CEO of the Next program, with Operations Manager Christy Ashkettle and Next Vice President Brenda Laakso. (Photo by Bill Poovey)

John Moore, from right, CEO of the Next program, with Operations Manager Christy Ashkettle and Next Vice President Brenda Laakso. (Photo by Bill Poovey)

While manufacturer and major business relocations and expansions attract    the most attention, the S.C. Small Business Development Center last year alone  helped start 115 businesses, center records show. Those fledgling enterprises  created and saved more than 1,035 jobs. The Greenville Chamber of  Commerce’s Next program that started in 2006 has helped start and build more  than 100 businesses, Chamber Executive Vice President John Moore said.

 

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