RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina State is unifying its various programs designed to increase entrepreneurship and is seeking $2 million from the General Assembly to help fund the effort.

NCSU offers a variety of programs designed to help create and foster the growth of new businesses across North Carolina. The new program brings all such efforts under the direction of James Zuiches, NCSU’s vice chancellor for extension, engagement and economic development.

The University is seeking funding from the General Assembly through an expansion budget request. The money would be used to hire faculty to focus on industry clusters and small businesses.

“Entrepreneurs need educational support, technical assistance, training, access to capital, and a thriving network of community support in both urban and rural areas,” Zuiches said in a statement. “They need it from the high schools, community colleges, universities and business communities.”

The university noted that North Carolina is already home to more than 523,000 self-employed people and some 109,000 “microenterprise” businesses that employ five or fewer people. Some 23,000 new businesses are launched each year, but about half of those will fail within four years, NCSU added.

“The reasons for their failure usually include lack of business planning, inadequate seed or early-stage capital, poor financial management, limited understanding of markets, and inefficient production processes,” Zuiches said.

The NCSU program will attempt to improve the new business environment through:

• A new major focused on entrepreneurship, helping graduates create their own jobs

• Expanding the NCSU economic development extension field faculty with an emphasis on low-income counties

• Partnering with private sector firms to create capital for investment in early stage companies

• Partnering with community colleges and other members of the UNC system to offer training in business planning and production efficiences for high- and lo-wtech industries

• Building a Web platform to link entrepreneurs with NCSU