Brian Baker, Executive Director for Entrepreneurship and Vice President of the Virginia Business Incubation Association, presented at the VBIA Annual Conference on October 23 in Charlottesville. He was invited to speak on the programs and economic benefits of the University of Mary Washington Office of Entrepreneurship. Those programs include the UMW Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Accelerator and Innovation Center where the La Ceiba and Esfuerzo de Amor programs are housed, the emerging “Incubation Corridor” in collaboration with George Mason University, Rural Business Development in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, and collaboration with faculty and students. In 2012, 38 students have been involved in applied skills projects at the Office of Entrepreneurship. Notable faculty collaborations include a business analytics project featuring Dr. Christopher Garcia and Dr. Gail Brooks of the College of Business, a master’s level analysis engagement featuring Dr. Louis Martinette of the College of Business, and the La Ceiba and Esfuerzo de Amor programs featuring Dr. Shawn Humphrey of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2011 the SBDC was involved in over 425 business projects that yielded 174 new jobs, 394 retained jobs, 51 new business openings, over $5.9 million in increased sales, and over $13 million in new capital investment.
The Office of Entrepreneurship is a division of the University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development and hosts the UMW Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Accelerator and Innovation Center, the Engagement Council, and the Virginia Business Incubation Association.