Whether you’re searching for help getting started on a business plan, sources of capital to fund your start-up, government contracting opportunities or minority resources and programs, we’re here to help.

Our business counselors can guide you to this information and much more. To get started, call us toll free at (800) 228-8443 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit the resources below.

Business Plan Resources

Your business plan is the foundation to help you meet your goals. Many resources are available via counseling at your Small Business Center, SCORE or online.

The Small Business Center Network of the North Carolina Community College System offers business planning assistance as well as a guide for start-up and established businesses.

Our business counselors can guide you to this information and much more. To get started, call us toll free at (800) 228-8443 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit the resources below.

Business Start-Up and Resource Guide

University of North Carolina's Small Business and Technology Development Center

Business Start-Up and Resource Video

University of North Carolina's Small Business and Technology Development Center

Incentives and Credits for Start-Up Businesses Guidebook

North Carolina Department of Commerce

Business Plan Template

SCORE, the nation's largest network of free, expert business mentors

Create Your Business Plan Step-by-Step Instructions

U.S. Small Business Administration

Business Plans and Profiles Index

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Articles and Resources for Creating Business Plans

Entrepreneur Magazine

Sales & Marketing Resources

The ability to sell or promote your products and services is critical to your success. By expanding your markets, diversifying your products and tapping into new resources, your company will continue to grow. Here are some of the marketing services available to you.

Marketing

Business Seminars and Workshops

North Carolina Community College System's Small Business Center Network

Marketing Division

North Carolina Department of Agriculture

Market Research

Marketing Research Services

Small Business and Technology Development Center

AccessNC

Your one-stop source for North Carolina economic data and site information

Franchising

Business Start-Up and Resource Guide

University of North Carolina's Small Business and Technology Development Center

Financing Resources

Finding sources of capital for your business start-up can be confusing and difficult. The following includes basic information on the various resources available for individuals seeking start-up financing, loan guarantee programs and technical assistance. No matter what type of business you have, it is essential that you have a good business plan in place prior to seeking funding.

General Resources

Business Capital Opportunities Programs

North Carolina Rural Center

The Rural Center oversees several lending programs expected to free up to $800 million in capital for small businesses in North Carolina during the next few years.

Fueling Your Business in North Carolina: A Guide to Financing for Small Businesses

North Carolina Rural Center

A guide designed to put you in the “driver’s seat” to create a plan that will help you find money to start or expand a business.

Microenterprise Loan Program

North Carolina Rural Center

For individuals in North Carolina's 85 rural counties who have sound ideas for starting or expanding a small business but may not qualify for bank loans.

Capital Opportunities for Small Business

Small Business and Technology Development Center

A guide that provides information about financial resources available to small businesses.

Private Equity Initiatives

Small Business and Technology Development Center

The SBTDC provides counseling assistance to growth companies seeking equity capital, offers educational programs for both qualified investors and growth company entrepreneurs, works with angel and venture capital funds, and serves as a statewide resource and connection to private equity investment.

Loan Guarantee Programs

U.S. Small Business Administration

The SBA does not generally loan directly to your business, but instead offers loan guarantee programs through local and regional banks.

Business and Industry Loans and Grants

USDA Rural Development

USDA Rural Development operates more than 50 financial assistance programs for a variety of rural applications.

Grants & Loans

Science Business Grant Programs

North Carolina Office of Science and Technology

Inception Micro-Angel Funds (IMAF)

North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center

These six funds provide $50,000 to $125,000 in early seed-stage capital to emerging technology-based businesses. Funds are up and running in the Triad, East, West and Coastal Piedmont regions. Funds are under development for the Triangle and Coastal regions.

First Flight Venture Center (FFVC)

A technology incubator located in the heart of Research Triangle Park driven to increase the number of technology companies originating in or relocating to North Carolina. Its website lists loan and other financial resources.

Golden LEAF Foundation

A nonprofit foundation that helps transform formerly tobacco-dependent economies through grants in agriculture, economic development and workforce preparedness, as well as educational assistance.

Business Loan and Growth Programs

North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Offers a number of programs for biotechnology-related businesses.

North Carolina Community Development Initiative

Since its founding in 1994, the Institute has channeled more than $65 million to local Community Development Corporations, resulting in more than $358 million of completed local development projects. Financial programs include grants, loans and equity investments.

The Support Center

Assists with funding available through Community Development Credit Unions.

Self-Help Credit Union

A community development lender, credit union and real estate developer that works with individuals, organizations and communities traditionally underserved by conventional markets.

Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund

RAFI

Created in 1997 to address the barriers facing tobacco farmers and tobacco dependent communities.

Offering Securities in North Carolina

You may be considering offering corporate stock, shares in a limited partnership or some other security to help fund your start-up. Security offers and sales in North Carolina are subject to the North Carolina Securities Act.

Call the Secretary of State, Securities Division, at (919) 733-3924 or (800) 688-4507 for more information.

Federal Programs

Offering Securities in North Carolina

U.S. Department of Commerce

Provides information on grant opportunities.

Grants.gov

U.S. Department of Commerce

Provides access to information about more than 1,000 federal grant programs.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Provides information for start-ups and small businesses.

Entrepreneur Resources

Statewide

Small Business Centers Network

North Carolina Community College System

The North Carolina Community College System has an entrepreneurship curriculum available at a number of campuses, and the system's Small Business Centers Network offers classes, workshops and other programs for business owners.

Strategy and Organizational Development Program

Small Business and Technology Development Center

With 18 regional offices across North Carolina, the Small Business and Technology Development Center has an entrepreneur-focused Strategy and Organizational Development Program and online training resources designed to increase the likelihood of business success.

The Business Side of the Food Industry Resources

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

North Carolina Cooperative Extension

North Carolina A&T State University and North Carolina State University

Based at the state's two land-grant educational institutions, North Carolina A&T State University and North Carolina State University, this educational partnership helps people put research-based knowledge to work for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and an improved quality of life. There are programs in all 100 counties, many of which offer business and entrepreneurship-related programs.

Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship

North Carolina Rural Center

The Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship supports the development of micro, small and medium-size enterprises in rural North Carolina. Project GATE helps dislocated workers explore options for starting their own business. New Generation Ventures helps launch young adults on a path toward business ownership in rural North Carolina.

Industrial Extension Service

North Carolina State University

IES works one-on-one with small and medium-size manufacturers to help them stay competitive, retain jobs and increase profits.

Basic Community and Economic Development

University of North Carolina School of Government

This is a four-day introductory training course each summer designed for economic development professionals employed by public, civic, or private development agencies and individuals new to the field.

Career and Technical Education Programs

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction offers a variety of career and technical education programs on its website.

Entrepreneurship Programs with the University of North Carolina System

Center for Entrepreneurship

Appalachian State University

The Center for Entrepreneurship in ASU's Walker College of Business was created in 2006 to support an incredible, burgeoning group of student entrepreneurs.

Small Business Institute Program

East Carolina University

The Small Business Institute Program provides onsite management assistance to small business owners while providing senior-level and graduate students with valuable practical assistance.

Center for Entrepreneurship

Fayetteville State University

The Center for Entrepreneurship strives for leadership in entrepreneurship and innovation training.

Interdisciplinary Center for Entrepreneurship and E-Business

North Carolina A&T State University

The Interdisciplinary Center for Entrepreneurship and E-Business is dedicated to developing the entrepreneurial spirit at the university.

Entrepreneurship Initiative

North Carolina State University

Through the EI, individual entrepreneurial projects and programs throughout the university unite to provide students with top-tier resources and opportunities.

Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education was created by the university's School of Education.

Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The university's Kenan-Flagler Business School has a Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In addition, the Center for Sustainable Enterprise runs BASE, the Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

Charlotte Research Institute

UNC Charlotte

The Charlotte Research Institute is a research facility with lab space, partnerships and access to faculty and internships.

North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The Entrepreneurship Center provides co-curricular and outreach programs for students and the community to create entrepreneurial opportunities.

Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

The center stimulates entrepreneurial thinking among students and supports entrepreneurs and new ventures in southeastern North Carolina.

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Through events, opportunities, research, education and building relationships, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is building a large community of entrepreneurs.

Online Programs

University of North Carolina System

The University of North Carolina System also offers a number of online undergraduate and graduate business degree programs.

Center for Entrepreneurship

Winston-Salem State University

The School of Business and Economics has a Center for Entrepreneurship focused on meeting the regional demands for entrepreneurship training.

Other Entrepreneurship & Business Education Resources

There are many private, not-for-profit organizations in North Carolina that serve the business community’s need for training and education.

Council for Entrepreneurial Development

Identifies, enables and promotes high-growth, high-impact companies to accelerate the entrepreneurial culture of the Research Triangle and North Carolina.

SCORE

The nation's largest network of free, expert business mentors
Provides free counseling support for start-ups and existing small businesses.

EntreDot

A mentoring organization committed to ensuring entrepreneurial success.

Mountain BizWorks

Mountain BizWorks is a non-profit that helps small businesses in Western North Carolina start, grow, and create jobs through loans, classes and coaching.

Center for Economic Empowerment and Development

Provides resources and advocacy for economic empowerment.

North Carolina Chamber

A not-for-profit membership organization representing the interests of business and industry.

North Carolina Economic Developers Association

A statewide association for professional economic developers and their allies in North Carolina.

North Carolina REAL Enterprises

A not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping bring entrepreneurship and small business creation to North Carolina.

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities

North Carolina has many private colleges and universities that offer entrepreneur and/or business-related courses.

Self-Help Credit Union

Self-Help is a community development lender and real estate developer that works with qualified individuals, organizations and communities traditionally underserved by conventional markets.

Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship

The Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship is a private, non-profit corporation focused on enhancing economic development in Greensboro and the surrounding area.

NC LEAP

The North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Project is a public service program of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Minority Programs

A number of minority resources and programs are available to help you start your business.

General Programs

North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development

A statewide nonprofit organization that provides support via access to capital, expanded market opportunities, and executive education/training to small, minority and women-owned business enterprises. Programs include the Women's Business Center of North Carolina, which provides tools and services to help women entrepreneurs succeed.

North Carolina Community Development Initiative

Dedicated to increasing assets and creating wealth for communities and individuals in low-resource communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Institute has channeled more than $65 million to local Community Development Corporations, resulting in more than $358 million of completed local development projects. Programs include Initiative Capital (loans) and Grants and Technical Assistance.

Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB)

North Carolina Department of Administration

Advocates for minority, women and disabled-owned businesses in their efforts to conduct business with the State of North Carolina.

The Support Center

Assists with funding available through Community Development Credit Unions.

Center for Economic Empowerment and Development (CEED)

Created by the Women's Center of Fayetteville to enhance entrepreneurs' business skills.

American Indian & Native American Programs

American Indian Chamber of Commerce of North Carolina

Seeks to give existing American Indian businesses and new entrepreneurs a better chance of success by providing them with access to intra-member counseling, information sharing opportunities, and more awareness of other business development programs.

Commission of Indian Affairs

North Carolina Department of Administration

Works with a variety of issues, including economic development.

North Carolina Indian Economic Development Initiative

Provides economic development and business support for North Carolina Indians, Indian-owned business and North Carolina federal and state tribes and tribal organizations.

Hispanic Programs

North Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Advocates, promotes and facilitates the success of Hispanic businesses in collaboration with the business community at-large.

Government Contracting

Did you know the government buys just about everything and needs a variety of services? Selling to the military and federal, state and local governments can expand your markets greatly. The following are links to government procurement services and assistance.

NC E-Procurement @ Your Service

North Carolina Department of Administration

An innovative, cost-saving, and efficient method of purchasing that allows government entities to aggregate their purchases to obtain better prices from suppliers.

Division of Purchase and Contract

North Carolina Department of Administration

The central purchasing authority for all state departments, institutions, agencies, universities, and community colleges.

Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB)

North Carolina Department of Administration

Advocates for minority, women and disabled-owned businesses in their efforts to conduct business with the State of North Carolina.

NCDOT Business Information

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Conducts business with hundreds of vendors and contractors every year, to connect people and places in North Carolina.

North Carolina Procurement Technical Assistance Center

Small Business and Technology Development Center

Educates business associates on how to obtain contracts by providing comprehensive assistance in selling products and services to local, state and federal government agencies.

Local Government Purchasing and Contracting

University of North Carolina School of Government

Provides information and resources on local government contracting, including competitive bidding and other legal requirements for purchasing and construction contracting.

North Carolina Military Business Center

North Carolina Community College System

Provides information about military contracting and other business opportunities.

Recovery Act Opportunities

U.S. Government

Provides information about opportunities through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Federal Business Opportunities

U.S. Government

Through this single point of entry, commercial vendors and government buyers can post, search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire federal community.

U.S. Small Business Administration

U.S. Government

Provides extensive information for small businesses that seek to contract and/or subcontract with federal agencies.

Contact the BLNC Team