Sep232010

Mason to Open New Business Incubator in Loudoun County

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By Daniel Walsch

The Mason Enterprise Center (MEC), a university-based economic development enterprise, is opening a new location in Leesburg, Va., on Oct. 1.

To be called the Leesburg Business Incubator, this facility represents a partnership between George Mason University and the Town of Leesburg. It is designed to provide professional guidance and administrative support services to small businesses in the early stages of their development.

Initial funding for the Leesburg Business Incubator is being provided by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. At its most recent meeting, the council appropriated $100,000 to support the first three years of the incubator’s operational costs.

Leesburg Business Incubator will be located at North King Street in Leesburg. It will eventually relocate to a permanent site on Church Street, which is currently under construction.

“George Mason University is very appreciative of the support being given to us by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors,” says Kathleen Johnson, assistant vice president of regional campuses.

“In many ways, small businesses represent the backbone of the American economy, as they provide citizens with valuable employment opportunities. The university is proud of this opportunity to work closely with Leesburg and Loudoun County officials to help small business within the area achieve success and help keep our entire region and state strong.”

A business incubator provides support services for small businesses that allows and encourages collaboration and innovation among these budding entities.

According to Keith Segerson, managing director of MEC, the university can provide professional assistance in such areas as training, business expansion and access to the university’s resources, along with administrative support, such as receptionist, copy and fax services and conference rooms.

MEC has been operating and providing small business development services in Northern Virginia for more than 15 years.

Operated by the university’s School of Public Policy, MEC specializes in the areas of small businesses, entrepreneurship, technology ventures and telework initiatives.

It supports the university’s goals of regional development and job creation and retention and provides clients with access to Mason faculty, students, alumni, researchers and information sources to help them improve their organizations, achieve success and become viable members of the economic community.

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