Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fredericksburg Area Primed for Entrepreneurs

For those of you that know me, my morning ritual is to grab the paper on the way out to catch the train to DC. Last week, an article in the business section caught my attention after having some conversation with other business owners the week before.

The Free Lance-Star ran this article "Helping business owners SCORE" by Emily Battle on the SCORE organization wanting to have a Fredericksburg office. SCORE is a national organization that connects experienced retired business executives to new entrepreneurs, or anyone wanting some business advice. The idea is that these executives have fought many of the battles before, and can bring experience and invaluable advice to new business ventures.

Combine that with a new co-working concept based near Ukrops off of RT 3 called Business Playce, and you may have a way of getting started on that dream business you've always wanted to pursue. Co-working is the idea that a group of people can pay a little, yet combined provide a large professional office space. Email Paul and ask about his 'pink slip' special. The idea has been so popular, the owner is already looking to expand the amount of space. Several people share the area on a first come first serve basis, but with people needing desk space at different times, they are getting more for their money. There is even a conference space area for meeting with clients or investors. Try renting space anywhere in the Fredericksburg area for what you get with the co-working environment.

What we're getting are the beginnings of a business incubator environment. In some localities, there is an incubator group associated with the chamber of commerce. Such is the case in the Charlottesville area with the CBIC (C'ville Business Innovation Council). Fairfax has four incubators, including INC.Spire, part of the Reston area chamber of commerce. They provide resources such as active coaching, help acquiring small business loans or assistance in working with the SBA. Here in the Fredericksburg area, we have REDCO (Rappahannock Economic Development Corporation) which is a non-profit that helps get business financing using SBA 504 loans.

So is it time to branch out on your own? Or how about going into business yourself after getting that unfortunate layoff notice? Perhaps the time is now. Dust up on that business plan first, and see if you've really thought through the challenges. At least now locals entrepreneurs will have more options available.

1 comment:

Businessplayce said...


Thanks for mentioning Businessplayce in your blog. I agree with you that time is ripe for those who have been on the edge about starting their own business. While it's scary to take that first step, the encouragement and reality check that groups like SCORE can offer is invaluable! Certainly the coworking concept can help ease the pain by offering a low cost option to those startups. Even if you don't need a full time office, Businessplayce can offer the startup a professional conference room, address, etc at a low cost.

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