Wake Tech offers resources for small-business owners

Posted December 15, 2009 5:03 p.m. EST
Updated December 15, 2009 6:30 p.m. EST

— Wachovia is teaming up with Wake Technical Community College to create a support center for small-business owners.

The bank has committed $150,000 over three years to the Wachovia Wells Fargo Center for Entrepreneurship at Wake Tech's campus in northeast Raleigh. Some of the money will go toward scholarships to help budding entrepreneurs get the training and support needed to get their business ideas off the ground.

"What I see Wake Tech being able to do through this center is to provide some continuity with that help, to nurture them from the idea they have to developing a plan and into launching their business," said Fred Gebarowski, director of entrepreneurship at Wake Tech.

The center will include curriculum programs for college credit, as well as continuing education courses, seminars and one-on-one counseling. Entrepreneurs will be able to share ideas online and solve problems together via the center’s Web site and resource network.

"Having a good marketing plan put together will make (business ideas) that much more successful, and that's what this will help create – wonderful business plans – and increase the chance for success and getting a loan," said Jack Clayton, Wachovia's regional president.

Martha Liles already has gotten a small business boost from Wake Tech. She wanted to maintain a historic home that has been in her family since the 1870s, and instructors and resources at the college helped her transform it into the Rand-Bryan House, which hosts special events.

"I wouldn't have been able to offer the services I offer as well as I do had I not had some of those resources that came from them," said Liles, who opened the business in September and said she plans to continue taking advantage of the Center for Entrepreneurship's resources.

For more information on the center, call Gebarowski at 919-532-5629 or visit