The SMARTstart Incubator is a new and innovative strategy program to engage entrepreneurs, grow new businesses and create job opportunities in Pasco County. The incubator will provide direct opportunities for local business professionals, students and faculty to work with and support entrepreneurs.
The Small Business Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce report that only 20 percent of new businesses are still in operation after the first five years, largely due to under-capitalization and lack of management skills. In contrast, a series of landmark evaluations of Economic Development Administration (EDA) funded programs revealed that 87 percent of all incubator graduate firms remain in business after 5 years. Due to these statistics, the Pasco Economic Development Council has put together a coalition group to create its first Pasco County Incubator.
If you are starting a new business or trying to expand your small business, Pasco Enterprise Network (PEN) offers a one-stop resource for finding guidance and assistance. No matter what challenges you may be facing, we can connect small businesses and entrepreneurs to the help they need to grow their businesses.
Pasco Enterprise Network is a collaborative effort of not-for profit agencies committed to ensuring the success of small businesses in Pasco County, Florida. Our PEN Partners provide consulting, counseling, education, and technical assistance in a variety of areas and subjects.
Pasco Economic Development Council established a community based microloan fund that will act as a loan source for credit worthy Pasco County small businesses. The microloan fund will help to create a stronger economy, job opportunities and provide entrepreneurial education in our community. It will also help certain types of disadvantaged businesses who often have difficulties accessing credit, such as women-, minority-, veteran- and disabled-business owners.
Who can apply? Any business that is headquartered or plans to be headquartered in Pasco County.