Presbyterian College and the City of Clinton are partnering to create a space for new entrepreneurs to develop new businesses.
The new business incubator at 103 East Main Street was unveiled Dec. 16 at a public ribbon-cutting ceremony that included members of Clinton City Council, the Clinton Economic Development Corporation, and the PC community. Its first business include Aspen and Figs gift shop and products from Thornwell’s LushAcre Farms.
Clinton Mayor Bob McLean ’76 said the incubator resulted from years of hard work, planning, and a vision to guide and assist entrepreneurs and encourage them to do business in Clinton.
“It’s hard to start a business and even harder to succeed,” McLean said. “This is a place for students and for local people to work in groups and collaborate on ideas to start new businesses. What they will come up with, we just don’t know, but we’re getting ready to find out – and I think we’re going to see some great things happen.”
PC president Dr. Matthew vandenBerg said the business incubator will inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs with ideas and provide them skills to succeed.
President vandenBerg also said the incubator is a welcome addition to PC’s relationship with the city.
“I am a big believer that the fates of PC and the City of Clinton are intertwined,” he said. “And we are one tide that will rise and fall together. I really believe that today and this project is evidence that that is happening here. The spirit of cooperation and teamwork is strong among us, and I believe it continues to grow and to grow.”
This spring, vandenBerg and political science professor Dr. Ben Bailey are teaming up to teach “Service Entrepreneurship in Action,” a class primarily for students who participated in the college’s inaugural Social Entrepreneurship Competition.
“We hope this will be an eye-opening experience for our students, one that will expose them to the unique challenges and rewards of service entrepreneurship,” Bailey said.
As part of the class, students are also helping design and develop the incubator for the future.
vandenBerg said, “This course will give our students a skill set, the excitement, and the inspiration to launch this incubator and make it a huge success.”