Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship in the Golden Isles

Entrepreneurship has long been considered a cornerstone of economic growth and development, and it plays a crucial role in the growth of local economies. Local entrepreneurship has become increasingly popular as communities look for ways to revitalize their economies, create jobs, and support small businesses.

The Golden Isles is home to the Lucas Center of Entrepreneurship that proudly supports local students and entrepreneurs in three ways: they build communities to support entrepreneurship with mentors, peers, experts, regional partners, local businesses, and friends. They build capabilities for entrepreneurs with workshops, coaching, pitch competitions and events, and they support new and growing entrepreneurs on their path to accessing capital with local investors, lenders, and partners.

Through these programs and initiatives, the Lucas Center can foster innovation and creativity within the community by offering free educational opportunities. These programs include “Idea Accelerator” that takes a business idea to a start-up plan in a single day. The very first class in December of 2022 hosted 46 registrants whom 46% incorporated their business, 57% are now earning revenue, and 54% followed up for professional mentoring.

Other Lucas Center programs and events include an 8-week program called ACCELER8; a program for business owners to help grow their business to meet growth goals. The Lucas Challenge Pitch Competition, Global Entrepreneurship Week, and a professional mentor program are some of the other tools the Lucas Center uses to support our local or future startups.

The Golden Isles Development Authority (GIDA) encourages and supports the Lucas Center and local entrepreneurship to create a culture of innovation and creativity that will lead to new products and services, new industries, and jobs in the Golden Isles.

GIDA is committed to promoting the tools and resources available to support small businesses. See the link above to explore other small business resources.