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Urban IDEAcenter launched in N.O.

17th September 2012   ·   0 Comments

On Wednesday, September 12, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and The Idea Village announced the launch of the Urban IDEAcenter, an entrepreneurial hub located in the Upper 9th Ward focused on providing direct resources to support new business growth in New Orleans.

The Idea Village opened this center on 3232 N. Galvez in 2009 with a goal of catalyzing an entrepreneurial support system in key neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Katrina.To date, the center has provided technical business resources to support over 1,000 local residents. On Wednesday, the Urban League and The Idea Village introduced the “Urban IDEAcenter,” renamed to showcase both organizations’ combined commitment to empower the community through innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Never has there been a better time in New Orleans to start a new business. The Urban IDEAcenter will facilitate business development and add to the entrepreneurial ecosystem needed to assist aspiring and existing businesses to thrive,” said Nolan Rollins, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans.

Both the Urban League and The Idea Village have solid track records in providing entrepreneurial resources, business coaching, mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to capital to New Orleans entrepreneurs. The Urban IDEAcenter enables both organizations to collaborate and offer complimentary entrepreneurial services.

“Since 2000, The Idea Village has been focused on building a strong network of support for New Orleans entrepreneurs,” said Tim Williamson, Co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village. “By teaming up with the Urban League, we’re leveraging our collective assets to support the next great ideas in our city.”

The Urban IDEACenter is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and features a technology center and flexible work space. Providing one-on-one business consulting services, as well as entrepreneur education and computer training classes, the center will also offer strategic programs that connect entrepreneurs to The Idea Village’s annual Entrepreneur Season.

“The inaugural program of the Urban IDEAcenter is the Women in Business Challenge, an initiative centered on educating and empowering female entrepreneurs in New Orleans,” said Lynnette Colin, director of the Urban League’s Women’s Business Resource & Entrepreneurship Center. “After completing a pre-accelerator program with the Urban League, which includes a four-week entrepreneurial training boot camp, select participants will be invited to pitch for seed capital during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, March 16-22, 2013.”

This article was originally published in the September 17, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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