SEED Center will nurture entrepreneurial spirit

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Just like home ownership, it's a part of the American dream,  to be your own boss.  But a majority of small businesses, 89 percent of them,  fail within the first five years of starting up.

Gloria Collins has made it to the one year mark with her new Village Coffee.   She gets nervous about the economy.  But she keeps on plugging away.  Just down the street from her, there's a project under construction that can help Gloria and hundreds of other business owners in the lake area.

Adriene Wallace says,   "It's literally going to be a one stop location with programming and services, training, not just for incubator clients. But for anyone in the business community."

It's a 14 million dollar facility called the SEED Center.  It stands for "Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial  and Economic Development" Center.  McNeese State University donated the land.  And the police jury and the city contributed other funding.

Adriene Wallace, Director of the incubator program says, "In this facility, there's going to be about 30 to 35 spaces for incubator clients.  You'll have office space, you'll have access to the resources in the seed center.  You'll have a professional business address.  So you're going to have a lot of the resources that on your own, you couldn't afford to just go out and procure by yourself."

Southwest Louisiana was the only region in the state that didn't have an incubator of this type.  A place where you can go with an idea for a business...  Get actual office space at a reduced price... And all the expert advice under one roof. "We're not just putting you into an office.  And saying hey you're on your own.  We're gonna be working with you constantly to see where you are."

"And when you compare the success rate of businesses who used a seed center. To those who  didn't, the numbers  tell it all:  "Clients who go into an incubator program--- 3 to 5 years later, 89% of them are still in business.  So that speaks to the power of an incubator program."

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