A&T opens business center

N.C. A&T will soon offer students and members of the community who want to own their own businesses a chance to better prepare themselves with the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Center of Entrepreneurship and E-Business, or ICEEB.

The center, which was the result of a collaboration between the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the School of Technology, will offer various learning opportunities such as the Entrepreneurial Scholars Program, which will allow students to intern with successful entrepreneurs and an E-Lab course called New Venture Creation, which will give students a chance to develop a solid business idea and create a working business plan.

Dr. Thaddeus McEwen, an associate professor in The School of Business and Economics, will be heading the program.

“Our students are very interested in entrepreneurship, and we know also that entrepreneurship is very critical to economic development locally and nationally,” he said. “We’ve been thinking about the center for several years, but we received grant money from the University for the program in September of 2002,” Thaddeus McEwen said.

Entrepreneurship Center participants in the program will be assigned a local entrepreneur as a mentor and be expected to launch their business while they are in the course or soon after graduation.

During the first year that their business is in operation, they will have access to the virtual incubator. The incubator allows students from the E-lab to operate their businesses online for free.

Dr. Beryl McEwen, is the coordinator of the center’s E-business program.

“The center can serve the needs of majors from just about any discipline, from the performing arts major who wants to figure out how to start a community theater, to the family studies major who wants to start a child care business, to the music major who wants to sell sheet music online,” Beryl McEwen said.

The center also offers outreach activities that are designed to provide networking and educational opportunities for local entrepreneurs and A&T students. They include a lecture series, seminars and workshops and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Conference. Although the center is housed in the School of Business and Economics, it has been designed to cater to the entire university. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply, Thaddeus McEwen said.

For more information on the center, you may log on to www.ncat.edu/-iceeb. or contact Dr. Thaddeus McEwen at (336) 334- 7656.

  • Bionca Chapman