Supportedly-Startup NC logo

Accelerating COVID-19 Recovery Through Entrepreneurship Enablement

Startup NC is a statewide economic development program that connects NC entrepreneurs to the largest, single source of digital entrepreneurial support, information, and local assistance.

The Mission

Bring the Best Support & Connection to all NC Entrepreneurs

Deliver Training and Support to 5,000 COVID-Impacted NC Entrepreneurs
Build the Largest Community of Rural, Underserved, and COVID-19 Impacted Entrepreneurs
Open-source the Largest Repository of Entrepreneur-to-Entrepreneur Best Practices, Advice, and Inspiration

"Ensuring our communities have equitable, digital access to free business education and training is our duty as public servants and is essential for the economic prosperity of every North Carolina community."

—Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, President, CVCC


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the majority of NC small businesses. Accessing qualified support and local resources is harder for entrepreneurs in rural and underserved communities where economic recovery is needed most.


Create a statewide digital network of interconnected, hyper-local web portals that connect all NC entrepreneurs to the largest single-source of entrepreneurial support information and local small business assistance.


of NC small businesses have had revenues decrease due to COVID-19



To help NC small businesses accelerate their COVID-19 recovery by providing entrepreneurs with one place to go online to connect to actionable support, how-to training and advice, and local one-on-one assistance.

Help Us Build NC’s First Interconnected, Digital Entrepreneurship Support Network!

Startup NC Deliverables

Hyper-Local Web Portal

NC entrepreneurs will easily plug into one 58, interconnected Startup NC Web Portals where they will access free support, how-to training, and local connections.

E2E Advice

Hundreds of experienced NC entrepreneurs candidly sharing their successes, failures, and critical lessons-learned for the benefit of all in what will be the largest collection of entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur (E2E) advice.

Local 1:1 Support

Every NC entrepreneur will have easy access to free, 1:1 coaching and mentoring through their local Small Business Centers, serving all NC counties.

Community Events

Each web portal features an event calendar that lists all the can’t-miss local entrepreneurial support and networking opportunities.

Training Courses

Self-starters will find how-to courses on essential business topics every small business owner needs to know.

Support Directory

With the largest entrepreneur resource directory in the state, it’s a breeze for entrepreneurs to find the support they need to boost their small business success.

Content Repository

Planning, starting, or growing — no matter where an entrepreneur is in their small business journey, we’ve got the right type of how-to content to push them ahead.



With A

Focus On

Statewide and Hyper-Local Marketing Efforts to Raise Awareness and Foster Connection to Local, Regional, and Statewide Resources.

Startup NC Group Photo
The Outcome

Accelerating Entrepreneurship By

Delivering Training And Support To Nearly 5,000 COVID-Impacted Entrepreneurs Over 2 Years

Building The Largest Community Of Rural, Underserved, And COVID-Impacted Entrepreneurs

Open-Sourcing The Largest Repository Of E2E Best Practices, Advice, And Inspiration

Attracting More Than 200,000 Users To The Sites Over 2 Years

Converting 25,000 To Subscribers And Return Users Over 2 Years

Learning And Sharing Valuable Insights Directly From Entrepreneurs On ESOs’ Impact, Gaps, And Opportunities

WNC Digital

Entrepreneurship Enablement Pilot

In 2019, under the leadership of CVCC, The NC Community College Rural Entrepreneurship Alliance, which represents 10 leading community colleges serving 62% of WNC counties, was formed. The goal of the alliance was to accelerate entrepreneurship by improving the equity of online access to support in rural and underserved communities. After securing funding, the alliance launched a 2-year pilot program in 2020 that included 10 hyper-local web portals serving entrepreneurs across 18 NC counties.

Today, these web portals provide equitable access to critical small business support, how-to training, and one-on-one counseling opportunities at no cost to thousands of users.


Most users are women, the hardest hit segment of the COVID-19 recession.

Pilot Performance Highlights

20K+ Unique Site Visitors

3,000+ Rural NC Entrepreneurs Engaged

100K+ Hours On Websites (all users)

420+ Entrepreneurs Enrolled In Training

120+ NC Entrepreneurs Profiled

Startup NC Program Partners