The State of New York offers a wide array of programs to help women and minority owned business owners who wish to procure contracts with the state. Unfortunately for most start-ups, many of these programs are reserved for businesses that have a proven record of success — newly formed businesses or entrepreneurs typically don’t quality. One notable exception to this standard, however, is the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program, which establishes Entrepreneurial Assistance Centers in communities throughout the state. These centers are specifically tasked with helping individuals who have recently started a business (or want to start one) learn what it takes to succeed.
What Is an Entrepreneurial Assistance Center?
Through the EAP program, N.Y. state funds Entrepreneurial Assistance Centers that provide resources and training for minority and women entrepreneurs. A center may be an approved nonprofit corporation, a community college, or a Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) located in an area that is accessible to the target demographic (that is, women and minority business owners) it is intended to serve.
Entrepreneurial Assistance Centers contract with the state for a period of 12 months. Contracts are competitive, and candidates must demonstrate that they have the experience, staffing, and capacity to provide clients with the resources they need. They must also provide 1:1 matching funds.
Entrepreneurial Assistance Centers are required to offer certain core services, including:
- Enterprise Formation Assistance: This includes a 60-hour entrepreneurship course that helps new business owners develop a viable business plan. The course must be accompanied by at least 15 hours of hands-on technical assistance that provides would-be entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to refine their business concept, perform a break-even analysis and develop a business and marketing plan. Financial management assistance is also included in the course.
- Enterprise Expansion Assistance: The EAP centers maintain an ongoing relationship with start-ups who have taken the entrepreneurship course with the goal of helping them to become small-growth companies. Training provided includes:
- How to access credit and working capital
- Cash flow management
- Hiring and managing employees
- General business management skills
- Developing new markets
- Driving and managing growth
Additionally, the centers provide counseling and assistance in a number of important areas, such as:
- Completing MWBE certification applications
- Refinining a business concept and a business plan
- Standard management principles and skills
- Product development, marketing and advertising
- Licensing and contract procurement
Clients also gain access to Business Mentor NY, a free social media platform that connects entrepreneurs with volunteer business mentors in their field.
How to Find an Entrepreneurial Assistance Center
Entrepreneurial Assistance Centers are located in communities in 10 designated regions throughout the state of New York. Check this EAP center directory to find the location, web address and contact information for the center nearest you.
About The Carmoon Group
Located in Hicksville, New York, the Carmoon Group provides risk management, insurance, and other business services to clients in New York and across the United States. With over 20 years experience serving small and large businesses, we have the knowledge and expertise to meet your needs, whatever they may be. Please give us a call to schedule a free consultation, or reach out online and we will get back to you at a convenient time.