In early 2022, the National League of Cities selected Charleston to be part of the City Innovation Ecosystem Resource Mapping program, designed to drive regional entrepreneurship and innovation. Thanks to funding awarded by the National League of Cities, a new printed resource – CHS Small Biz Resource Guide – and an ecosystem assessment report were developed. This report will be used to expand support of small business owners and entrepreneurs in the City of Charleston.
The CHS Small Biz Resource Guide was created for area entrepreneurs and small business owners to use to find help. For our resource partners, the document is a way to market your own services (and other organizations that help entrepreneurs in our community) in one easy to share and promote resource. To download a PDF copy of this guide, please click on the image.
Mapping Entrepreneurship Assets - Report
As part of the Resource Mapping initiative, the city partnered with SourceLink to support the mapping of Charleston's entrepreneurship resource programs and organizations that help small businesses and entrepreneurs grow and succeed. Those resources were compared to a taxonomy developed through work with communities across the country to uncover gaps and/or opportunities for entrepreneurial ecosystem development.
This analysis revealed six key findings/recommendations:
Charleston has a broad array of services for different types of entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs need to be better informed and educated about supportive organizations (especially low cost and no cost options) locally and regionally.
Many of the identified resources did not complete the survey, which could mean hidden resources for Charleston entrepreneurs. A continued effort should be made to contact additional resources that serve the Charleston area.
No organizations offer manufacturing operations and logistics support, which could indicate a gap in the market.
Few providers offer equity capital and only three offer microloans, critical sources of funding for early-stage companies.
Half of the organizations surveyed serve key government sectors.