Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers

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Objective

Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EAC) is an enterprise development program with centers located in communities throughout New York State that provide instruction, training, technical assistance, and support services to individuals who are interested in starting or recently started their own business, or entrepreneurs seeking to expand or strengthen their early-stage business.

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Overview

EAC provide instruction, training, and one-on-one counseling in various languages to help aspiring entrepreneurs, first-time and existing business owners to develop business, problem-solving and management skills to turn their business concepts into reality and make the right decisions.  The emphasis is on helping individuals develop successful, resilient, and lasting businesses.

EACs offer a wide range of technical assistance services, including:

  • Evaluating the feasibility of starting a new business
  • Refining a business concept and business plan
  • Business registration assistance
  • Skills building in the application of business management principles and practices
  • A 60-hours business plan training course
  • Learn financial management skills
  • Develop and execute marketing strategies
  • Website development and the design of ecommerce platforms
  • Learn to sell products and services online
  • Counseling and guidance in identifying and accessing capital and credit services
  • Assistance with state procurement programs
  • Certification assistance to New York State Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises
  • Mentoring
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How to Find an EAC

To find an EAC in your area, view the EAC Directory. You can also contact us via email at [email protected] or call: 212-803-3234.

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How to Become an EAC

To apply, contact the Program Administrator at (212) 803-3234 or email [email protected].

Guidelines of EAC:

  • Contracts for the creation or continued operation of an EAC are awarded on a competitive basis for a 12-month period.
  • Awardees are required to provide a minimum of 1:1 matching funds either in cash or through in-kind contributions.
  • Request for Applications (RFAs)  are issued on the New York State Contract Reporter.
  • Teams are assembled to review the applications based on the requirements outlined in the RFA, 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. To ensure your organization is notified about the EAC RFA, register with the New York State Contract Reporter.
  • Once awarded, EACs 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.

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply to become an EAC:

  • 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.

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 and small business owners complete business plans and to help them develop a viable and sustainable 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

EAC must have the following effects on their communities:

  • Increase business ownership
  • Access to business financing
  • Expand sales
  • Create private-sector jobs.