George Scorsis on what can be learned from Central Florida's incubator efforts
There takes a certain level of faith in order to conduct business - faith in yourself, your employees, your product and also in your community.
10:39 21 June 2021
There are a number of standout towns and cities who are leading the charge of bringing industry to their doorsteps and jobs to their citizens. It takes planning, it takes effort and it takes like-minded people who are able to consistently carry the determination to make it happen.
Canadian cities shine as ideal locations for startups, with a highly educated workforce who are technologically adept and a government that is friendly to new businesses, either homegrown or from outside of Canada’s border. In other words, the famous Canadian friendliness extends beyond the exchange of pleasantries and into business ventures. Even Waterloo, with just over half a million people, is a prime location for innovation.
When looking south of the Canadian border, things can become a little more interesting as businesses in the midwest strive to be put on the map and have their approachable towns also become Meccas for industry. Of course, many cities with impressive budgets easily help encourage and bolster the entrepreneurial spirit.
However, Canadian entrepreneur George Scorsis regularly scours North America on the look-out for forward-thinking community and business strategies and finds ideas that he tries to introduce to Canada. George Scorsis says that smaller communities should not be ignored. In fact, a smaller budget can sometimes encourage greater creativity. One of the standout states he found is Florida, where Small Business Development Centers are assisting current businesses and helping people launch into building their dreams with hard work and planning.
The Central Florida hub for the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida is located in the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando and “provides business seminars and free one-on-one business counseling for small business owners,” per the website.
Orlando is situated in Orange County and in 2017 $2.25 million was earmarked for small business initiatives. A business incubator program was also created through the SBDC.
“So many resources are available to entrepreneurs in North America that many people have no idea are out there. This is just one example of many, even in Central Florida. When I was looking into how Central Florida was helping entrepreneurs, it struck me that they have really spotted areas where they can be of tremendous help to entrepreneurs and they are actively assisting when they can,” Scorsis said.
“Having an impressive academic institution as the location of a small business resource center is ideal.”
Experts at the university help the SBDC analyze economic competitiveness and national and international trends.
Certified and trained professionals provide business expertise to entrepreneurs, business support services are available through the Small Business Advisory Board Council and one of the most notable programs is GrowFL, according to Scorsis.
“GrowFL provides strategies, resources and support to second-stage companies for next level growth. By supporting companies with Strategic Research and peer-to-peer CEO mentoring, GrowFL helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. Based on the philosophy of Economic Gardening—to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state—GrowFL is the program of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida and is a critical component to the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” according to the website.
People can often run on adrenaline and dreams when they are first starting something, but it is the next stage where things can plateau and sometimes .
“GrowFL is innovative in that it helps entrepreneurs power through the challenges by way of mentorship and resources,” George Scorsis added.