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Virginia Workforce Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

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The mission of Virginia Workforce Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (VWIEC) is to expand the capability and capacity of Virginia's current and aspiring entrepreneurs to aid with economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

VWIEC was established in October 2020 through the Department of Education Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant. VWIEC operates on the behalf of the Virginia Board of Workforce Development. We are a Hampton University entity and, therefore, a 501 (3) non-profit institute of higher education.

This new center will serve as a statewide nexus of support by integrating the resources of two- and four-year institutions of higher education, experts in the public and private business sectors, and workforce agencies. VWIEC will fulfill a critical niche in the small business development arena.




Who We Serve:


  • Clientele from across the state who've been dismissed, displaced, or replaced due to COVID19.
  • Those who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but want to start a business.
  • Those seeking to transition to a new business because COVID-19 has made their current venture inviable.
  • Individuals seeking to expand or strengthen their existing business.

Why We Serve:


We want to support the community by removing barriers that restrict them, which include childcare, transportation, certification costs, and business licensure fees.

Services Provided:


  • Mentorship
  • Assistance with financing strategies
  • Education
  • Networking
  • Pitch competitions

We strive to serve a minimum of 3,000 participants and provide all services free of charge.





Certification & Licensing Support


The ODU Business Development Center (BDC) offers technical and financial support for certification and licensing for qualified participants. * The BDC can support a total of $1750 per business for licensing and certification fees. These include, but are not limited to, the following programs.


Certifications and Licensing

Commonwealth of Virginia Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business (SWaM) is a state certification program. The purpose is to enhance procurement opportunities for SWaM businesses participating in state-funded projects. See opportunities available at ODU down below.

Women's Business Enterprise Certification

The WBE certification is beneficial to businesses looking to work with large corporations and government agencies. This can provide a network of decision-makers in supplier diversity and procurement offices across the country. Many corporations require that you be WBE-certified before providing access to their supplier diversity programs. (Up to $750 value). The WBEC also provides a monthly class in How to Get Certified and the BDC can review all documentation before you register.

Minority Business Enterprise Certification

The MBE certification is beneficial to businesses looking to work with large corporations and government agencies. The MBE will connect your business to a network of decision-makers in supplier diversity and procurement offices across the country. Many corporations require that you be MBE-certified before providing access to their supplier diversity programs. (Up to $750 value)

State Corporation Commission & City Business Licensing ($100 value)

The Buisness Development Center can support other business certifications up to $750 and professional certifications up to $1000.


Other Specialized Training

Business Planning Research

This offers access to premier resources and an overview of major business information sources. (this session includes a personalized Industry Report valued at $950)

Developing a Business Plan

This program offers access to the premier Live Plan software to guide you through a step-by-step business plan.


REGISTER FOR BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

For More Information:

Business Development Center at Old Dominion University
Monique McWhite - Director
mmcwhite@odu.edu
757-683-4159

Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
Cherylynn Sagester - Program Director
csageste@odu.edu
757-683-4793

Women's Business Center (WBC)
Erika Small-Sisco - Program Director
esmallsi@odu.edu
757-683-5517


*Qualified participants with a business since January 1, 2021 or VWIEC individuals who will have attended VBOC or WBC programs or two counselling sessions. This support is contingent on available funding through our partner the Virginia Workforce Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (VWIEC) grant from the US Department of Education. The VWIEC will facilitate opportunities for Virginia's current and aspiring entrepreneurs to help grow our recovering economy.




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