Voorhees College Center for Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Partners with U.S. Small Business Administration

Left to right: Alicia Davis, Dr. Chandra Singh, Dr. Katherine Whitaker, President. W. Franklin Evans, Michael Corp, deputy district director for U.S. SBA, Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, Dr. Tywana Chenault, and Dr. James Ross.

Denmark, S.C.- Voorhees College announces its partnership with the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) as its first official partner with the Center for Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (CEED).

Michael Corp, deputy district director for U.S. SBA and Dr. W. Franklin Evans, ninth president and CEO of Voorhees, signed the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) at SBA Resource Day held on the campus.

The mission of the Voorhees College CEED is to promote entrepreneurship, small business growth, and the US economy by provident the critical funding, oversight, support, and scaffolding needed by both students and community citizens.

The mission of the SBA is to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small businesses by providing financial contractual and business development assistance and advocating on their behalf within

the government. As a federal program, SBA district offices deliver SBA programs and services to the public.

Evans said the Voorhees and SBA partnership is truly dynamic. “Voorhees College and SBA have separate services and resources which, when delivered in coordination with each other, will provide maximum benefits to the small business communities served in the City of Denmark, Bamberg County, and surrounding areas,” Evans said.

“The purpose of this SAM is to develop and foster mutual understanding and a working relationship between the SBA and the institution to strengthen and expand small business development in the local area,” Corp said.

Dr. Katherine Whitaker, chairperson of the Department of Business and Entrepreneurship and executive director of the CEED, said as a subsidiary of the CEED, Voorhees has established a small business resource room in the St. James Building, which houses the Department of Business and Entrepreneurship,” Whitaker said. “The Resource Room is open to the public and encourages small business owners or developing entrepreneurs interested in launching a business idea to take advantage of the electronic resources and support for business development.”

Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the overall partnership is hugely beneficial to the Voorhees community. “The partnership also mutually assists the U.S. SBA in reaching its goal to provide small business development leadership and education to rural communities,” Hopkins said.

Additional presenters for the Voorhees College SBA Resource Day included: Gregg White, SBA district director, Ashley Bell, SBA Region IV administrator, Gary Robinson, SBDC Orangeburg, Angela Brewer, business opportunity specialist, and Savannah Wilburn, lender relations specialists.

Approximately 20 residents who are small business owners or interested in entrepreneurship attended. Additionally, more than 80 college students attended from business, humanities, and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Whitaker concluded, “In short, the SBA will advise the institution of events that may impact its overall mission and the vision and goals of the CEED,” Whitaker said. “This will include, but not be limited to, providing speakers and participation in campus workshops, conferences, seminars, and other activities to discuss SBA financing, government contracting, and other business topics.”

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