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entrepreneurship & small business

Low cost of living, vibrant and creative culture, and quality of life combined with reduced operational costs, reasonable real estate prices, and an environment of friendly competition within the business community make Athens, Georgia an ideal place for entrepreneurs.

Innovation and change thrive in our mid-sized city and makes Athens attractive to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs in our startup community stay for the low cost of living, relaxed lifestyle, and relatively easy access to research at the University of Georgia,  interns, new employees, and faculty expertise.

The Culinary Kitchen

Kindercore Vinyl

Community of Entrepreneurs

Below are some local and regional organizations supporting Athens entrepreneurs.

Athens Downtown Development Authority

Athens Downtown Development Authority awards grants and provides micro-loans to eligible businesses in Athens’ downtown business district.

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Athensmade

Athensmade is the “produced-local” chamber for Athens, Georgia. As a non-profit, it educates, supports, and promote homegrown brands, entrepreneurs and creative professions. Learn how you can promote your story of local innovation and business growth.

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East Athens Development Corporation

The mission of East Athens Development Corporation is to promote and support the neighborhood revitalization in East Athens through economic development activities, which will lead to financial security for the citizens of the community.

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Georgia Department of Economic Development

Contact the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the state’s economic development agency, to get information on state tax credits and state-level resources for minority-owned businesses. Find technology and innovation resources, such as incubators or university research connections across the state that can provide the competitive edge you need.

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Minority Business & Nonprofit Association (MBNA)

The Minority Business and Nonprofit Association (MBNA) is a trusted resource and proven advocate for minority businesses and charitable nonprofits.

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Northeast Georgia Black Chamber of Commerce

Northeast Georgia Black Chamber of Commerce serves as an advocate for the creation and growth of competitive, profitable and sustainable Black-owned entities throughout the Northeast Georgia region.

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SCORE

SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals.

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Small Business Administration – Minority-owned businesses

SBA is committed to supporting the development and growth of minority-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs from underserved communities.

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Small Business Development Center – Minority Business Division

This Division was created to provide special attention to the needs of minority entrepreneurs by identifying procurement opportunities, locating sources of capital, and supporting outreach efforts of minority business people around the state.

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UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides resources and services ranging from business training to individual consulting and international trade. Available to beginning entrepreneurs and experienced business owners looking to grow their business.

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STARTUP GUIDES

WE'RE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU

Our team of dedicated professionals will be with you to help with all phases of your project — from selection to development. Do not hesitate to reach out, we are happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.

Ilka McConnell, CEcD

Ilka McConnell, CEcD

Economic Development Director

(706) 613-3233
[email protected]

Gustavo Rodriguez-Zaccaro, SHRM-CP

Gustavo Rodriguez-Zaccaro, SHRM-CP

Workforce Development Coordinator

(706) 208-7480
[email protected]

Caitlin Dye

Caitlin Dye

Business Development & Incentives Coordinator

(706) 972-7811
[email protected]

John Rogeberg

John Rogeberg

Site Development Services Coordinator

(706) 286-5817

[email protected]

Ryan Thornton

Ryan Thornton

Manufacturing & Industry Coordinator

(706) 995-7005
[email protected]

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Specialist

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Specialist

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Specialist