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Grant to help local college reach minority business owners in rural areas

Melinda Waldrop //December 6, 2021

Grant to help local college reach minority business owners in rural areas

Melinda Waldrop //December 6, 2021

The Benedict College Women’s Business Center has received a $100,000 grant from the Truist Foundation to help launch an initiative designed to reach socially and economically disadvantaged women business owners in targeted rural areas.  

The WBC Mobile and Creative Entrepreneurial Demonstration will provide business support through a state-of-the-art mobile office unit in areas of Allendale, Bamberg, Clarendon, Dillon and Lee counties, along with the city of North Charleston. The WBC Rural Mobile Initiative, slated to launch next spring, will feature seven computer training stations, smart boards and wi-fi access and will be staffed by experienced business advisors. Business development curriculum will include training in emergency preparedness and recovery, bonding and contract readiness.  

“Equality for women entrepreneurs will only materialize when they are able to enjoy equal access to the same affordable financing mechanisms as men, including equal access to markets, information, digital technology, and services,” Roslyn Artis, Benedict College president, said in a news release. “We appreciate the financial investment of Truist in MCED and partnership in ensuring that minority women business owners in these rural areas have the tools and resources that they need to both grow and sustain their businesses.” 

The project will also include the WBC Creative Entrepreneur Initiative, designed to support female minority visual and performing artists, authors and other creative entrepreneurs. Two six-week virtual sessions will help participants develop understanding of business concepts and strategies, explain business models for artist-entrepreneurs, and provide funding and grant information. The first session is scheduled for February 2022. 

“Helping entrepreneurs navigate a frequently evolving business landscape not only supports their company, it creates stability for employees and their families, and strengthens communities,” said Mike Brenan, regional president for the South Carolina region of Truist Financial Corp. “With this grant, we have the opportunity to inspire and build better lives and communities by empowering Benedict College Women’s Business Center to help more minority women-owned businesses increase their resiliency and uncover new opportunities to grow and thrive.” 

The Benedict College WBC was created in September 2020 and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  

For more information, If you are a small business located in the MCED targeted area, contact the Benedict WBC at 803-705-4641 or email the center at [email protected].  



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