Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers

Next Section Continue


What are Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers?
Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EAC) provide instruction, training, technical assistance and support services to new and aspiring entrepreneurs in local communities statewide.

Next Section Continue


Strategically located throughout New York State, the EACs assist new and aspiring entrepreneurs in developing basic business management skills, refining business concepts, devising early-stage marketing plans, and obtaining business financing.
A typical EAC provides the following in-depth services, including counseling and assistance on:

  • The feasibility of starting a business
  • Refining a business concept and business plan
  • Completing MWBE Certification Applications
  • Business Mentor NY, a web-based volunteer mentor platform
  • Established management principles and practices
  • Product development and marketing
  • Exporting, contract procurement and licensing
  • Identifying and accessing capital and credit
  • Access to business support networks
  • Ongoing and continued technical assistance to program graduates including linkages to other small business services

EACs have the following effects on their communities:

  • Increase in business ownership among minorities and women
  • Minority and women-owned start-ups transitioning to small-growth companies
  • Increased access to financing and expanded sales by minority and women-owned firms
  • Creation of private-sector jobs.
Next Section Continue

Resources for Small Business Owners

Individuals wishing to start or expand their business in New York State should consult the EAC Directory for the name and contact information for the nearest EAC to schedule an appointment.

Next Section Continue

How to Become an EAC

An EAC must provide the following program services:

Enterprise Formation Assistance: One 60-hour entrepreneurship course supplemented by a minimum of 15 hours of intensive technical assistance to help new entrepreneurs complete business plans and to help them develop a viable business.  Technical assistance should encompass refinement of business concept, break-even analysis and financial management, and marketing plans and market development.

Enterprise Expansion Assistance: Centers shall maintain ongoing relationships with clients who have taken the entrepreneurship course in order to assist those new businesses to become small-growth companies.  Enterprise expansion technical assistance shall include the following:

  • Working capital and cash flow management
  • General management skills
  • New market development
  • Hiring and managing employees
  • Managing growth
  • Accessing credit and capital

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply:

  • A not-for-profit corporation, operated by a board of directors representing community leaders in business, education, finance and government
  •  A community college
  • A Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES)
  • In addition, the applicant organization must be located in an area accessible to minority group members, women and other target populations.

How to Apply to become an EAC

  • To apply, contact the Program Administrator at (212) 803-3234 or email [email protected]
  • Contracts for the creation or continued operation of an Entrepreneurship Assistance Center are awarded on a competitive basis for a 12-month period and awardees are required to provide a minimum of 1:1 matching funds either in cash or through in-kind contributions.
  • Request for Proposals (RFPs) are issued and teams are assembled to review the applications based on the guidelines outlined in the RFP, as well as the applicants' experience, capacity, staffing, past performance in other programs like EAC, as well as the organization’s ability to provide financing assistance to small business owners. In order to ensure your organization is notified about the EAC RFP, register with the New York State Contract Reporter.
  • Once awarded, the centers are evaluated annually based on specific performance objectives regarding business creation and expansion, increased sales, job creation and business financing.  A center’s eligibility for reimbursement of expenses and continued funding are contingent on the center achieving quarterly and annual performance objectives, along with other contractual obligations.