The Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBD) has received a $2 million investment from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that includes a $50,000 to Shaw University’s downtown Raleigh Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC).

CSBD and Shaw partner to operate the IEC. The grant is slated to help the IEC expand programming and its client base.

Shaw University Interim President Paulette Dillard said in a statement, “The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center is a vital resource for the next generation of entrepreneurs at Shaw University,” “Through our partnership with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund, we have been able to create opportunities for our students that will allow them to build companies right here in Southeast Raleigh.”

The IEC  focuses on three programming areas: entrepreneurial training, business incubation, and financial resource services. The two-level 2,000-square-foot space includes a first floor work space and an a second level innovation lab and two private team incubation offices.

Small business owners from the Southeast Raleigh community have access to the space for incubation, led by CSBDF staff, and to a private co-working room for 2-3 small teams on the second level of the Center. Small business owners  also have access to business tech solutions, such as Facebook and Google for business workshops, student interns, corporate small business solution testing, and discounted partner services.

Students are encouraged to use the space for entrepreneurial projects, corporate tech skill lessons, recruiting open houses, and innovation events such as Triangle Startup Weekend.