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.”
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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