St. Landry: Where Entrepreneurs Find Success!
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers and risk-takers, whose actions create jobs and improve overall community resiliency. Starting a business is much more than simply having a great idea, however. St. Landry Economic Development (SLED) is proud to assist these drivers of economic development with the resources, connections and assistance necessary to achieve success.
Entrepreneurs have always played a vital role in delivering healthy economic and community development for the St. Landry area. The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy reported recently there were 32,540,953 small businesses in the U.S. Those businesses drove 43.5% of gross domestic product and employed 46.8% of private-sector workers! That number is destined to increase, as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed thousands of individuals to put their entrepreneurial ideas to the test by starting their own businesses. The U.S. has seen a surge in business starts, with applications for new ventures increasing 24% in 2020 over 2019, according to data from the Census Bureau. More than 4.3 million business applications were submitted in the country in 2020, with 2021 on track to exceed that number by about one million applications. In comparison, 2010 saw nearly 2.5 million applications, 75% less than 2020.
Louisiana was one of the most active states for entrepreneurs in 2020, with 83,608 applications, an astounding 55% increase over the previous year! St. Landry Parish entrepreneurs matched that activity, with 1,000 business applications, an incredible 53.4% increase!
Resources for Entrepreneurs in St. Landry Parish
Many local and state incentives exist for entrepreneurs that are designed to ease the costs of doing business.
“SLED is proud to offer quality resources to assist small businesses and prospective entrepreneurs”, said Bill Rodier, CEO for St Landry Economic Development. “We are committed to promoting collaborative working and learning environments for entrepreneurs and small businesses that connect them with networks of business experts and area educational resources.”
An example of this collaboration is currently ongoing with a program called Accelerate St. Landry, a six-week “boot camp” for entrepreneurs running through November and December at the SLED Business Center. This program is being instructed by a team from the Louisiana Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (LEED) Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Entrepreneurs within St. Landry Parish are fortunate to have access to the world-class educational opportunities at the LEED Center to further their education or gain the skills they need. The Center’s mission is to strengthen and diversify the local economy through relationship-based entrepreneurship and economic development programming.
Another example is the close partnership SLED has with the Acadiana Small Business Development Center, which offers a range of training services and information resources. New and seasoned entrepreneurs alike can receive free one-on-one business advising services, along with access to low-cost workshops on everything from starting a business, business plans, loan applications marketing strategies, and more. The Small and Emerging Business Development program provides the training needed to grow and sustain a small business, from entrepreneurial training and legal assistance to marketing and business planning.
SLED provides a collaborative working and learning environment for entrepreneurs to hold business meetings or collaborate with a network of business experts. SLED’s Cajun Acceleration Station offers free Wi-Fi, Skype teleconference abilities and more, designed to encourage creative and critical thinking.
Louisiana is a state that understands the importance of entrepreneurs and has many services and incentives targeted to assist that demographic. A one-stop site for everything needed to launch a business in St. Landry is geauxBIZ, at which experts lead entrepreneurs through how to reserve a business name, file necessary documentation with the state, develop a business plan and more. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) is a central point for incentives programs with a lengthy list of opportunities for small businesses. Significant bottlenecks entrepreneurs experience today include finding and training quality employees once their business is up and running. For example, LED’s FastStart is a workforce training and development program that has been recognized as #1 in the nation for 12 consecutive years by Business Facilities magazine.
Support our Entrepreneurs
Starting a business is an exciting, yet daunting adventure. The St. Landry community is filled with knowledgeable individuals with fantastic ideas, just seeking the chance to get started. SLED is grateful for the opportunity to assist these dynamic entrepreneurs as they seek to fulfill their dreams. To learn more about how SLED can help with every aspect that comes along on that path, email us or call (337) 938-1391.