By Alisha McDarris
For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY -- Whether starting a new business or growing an existing one, Martin County entrepreneurs have a new resource in Indian River State College's business incubator.
While IRSC has operated a version of the incubator for several years now at Stuart Square, they are adopting a new model and moving the service to the IRSC Stuart campus to serve small businesses better and help keep Martin County a great place to live and work.
"We want to be the place where Martin County comes for business services," said Elizabeth Gaskin, Provost of the IRSC Chastain campus in Stuart.
Where before the program was more about leasing office space, it's now about serving business by offering workshops, individual mentoring, and shared workspace. The on-campus incubator will offer a more dynamic environment while utilizing access to faculty, students and more extensive business services.
The incubator can help those with a brilliant idea form a business plan so they can hit the ground running as well as those with an established business realize their full potential. The Small Business Development Center will be on hand with free business consulting, too.
Business Incubator memberships start at $25 per month and include services like business planning and help with how to get a new business started successfully.
Another membership is $200 per month and includes guidance on funding and legal issues, assistance with marketing and public relations, even access to meeting space and business technology.
"We're really trying to create a hub for businesses and business services in Martin County," Ms. Gaskin said.
It's important, she said, because small business are what Martin County is all about and she wants to help them succeed.
"But we're not just offering a big batch of services, we want to make sure we meet the needs of each individual client," Ms. Gaskin said.
They do so by meeting small business owners one-on-one to determine where they are and where they want to end up and then creating a personalized road map to success.
Those interested can submit an online request form at irsc.incutrack.net to have someone contact them with a unique plan tailored to their business.
It's all part of IRSC's goal to benefit more than just its students, but the community as a whole, and Ms. Gaskin, for one, is excited about the possibilities.
"The sky's really the limit on what kind of impact this could have," Ms. Gaskin said.