Wallace State Community College - Hanceville is seeking a variety of funding streams, in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission, Cullman Economic Development Agency, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Alabama Office of Workforce Development, and others, to construct a 28,000 square foot green business incubator designed to incubate 19-23 business startups in rural Appalachia. The ARCE will house a business entrepreneurship center and business incubator focused on high tech industries, including renewable and green energy. The ARCE proposes to incubate at least 19 new small businesses in a rural community, which will lead to the creation of at least 100 jobs in rural Appalachia, targeting business startups toward renewable energy and other green businesses, and target veterans to assist them in becoming entrepreneurs. The LEED certified Center will promote the use of renewable energy resources available in the Tennessee Valley and the surrounding Appalachian region by developing educational offerings including industry certifications, economic development partnerships to promote entrepreneurship, and community outreach programs. Students across the education continuum from K-12 to the lifelong learner will be offered mentoring, business development courses and summer entrepreneurship camp opportunities with ARCE clients serving as mentors and faculty.
January 2013: Secure funding for construction of the Center
January 2013: Employ the Center Director and up to two staff members
September 2013 - May 2014: Construct the Appalachian Regional Center for Entrepreneurship and Renewable Energy Innovations incubator facility
August 2014: Establish the Small Business Development Center
May 2014 - August 2016: Secure 19 entrepreneurs to establish tenancy in the incubator, target veterans and green businesses
By August 2016: Create 100 jobs
The Appalachian Regional Center for Entrepreneurship and Renewable Energy Innovations will address the Appalachian Regional Commission's Energy Goal to develop the Appalachian Region's energy potential to increase the supply of locally produced, clean, affordable energy, and to create and retain jobs. The project will also address Governor Bentley's plan to 'Accelerate Alabama' through the support of small business development because the jobs created by small businesses in the state of Alabama are necessary to lower the unemployment rate, fuel economic recovery, and return the state to economic prosperity.