Savannah is known for its arts and culture, fishing and watersports, as well as its sightseeing and golf. And while it may not be known for its business start-ups, Savannah’s entrepreneurial nature runs deep. The city is home to multiple programs, centers, and schools that are designed to help fledgling businesses get off the ground and survive. Some key organizations in Savannah strive to help Georgia start-ups, and the city itself also plays an integral role in keeping Savannah’s entrepreneurial spirit alive and well.
Providing the Education to Create Successful Business Owners
At the University of Georgia, they recognize that new businesses are the lifeblood of the state’s economy. That’s why they created the Small Business Development Center where entrepreneurs can go for assistance, training, and funding. Over the last five years the SBDC has helped over 1,400 companies get off the ground and they’ve helped their clients access over $525 million in financing.
Through the university, you can also obtain specialized training for both experienced business owners and new entrepreneurs, plus the SBDC brings together a wealth of resources, including experts available for consultation, research resources, and large business databases. Moreover, the experts and staff involved have the knowledge and experience to help you overcome obstacles during any stage of the business process.
Similarly, the Savannah College of Art and Design specializes in business management and entrepreneurship degrees at the post-secondary and graduate degree levels. And to keep pace with Savannah’s thriving arts scene, many of their courses seek to apply business and entrepreneurship skills with the arts. Their courses focus on teaching:
- Marketing and planning
- Business management and operations
- Elements of business law
- Effective communication and forecasting
- Developing strategic visions
- Fusing business principles with arts administration
Community Involvement in Local Business
It’s not just the educational institutions in Savannah that help small companies get started, however. There are also community organizations that are geared to helping entrepreneurs. The Creative Coast is one such group, and they assist with networking, mentoring, advocacy, and connecting job seekers with employers. They also run programs and offer resources for business owners, all with the goal of making Savannah a thriving and self-sufficient hub of activity. Savannah also has a very active SCORE chapter which mentors small business owners.
Help and Resources from the City
Savannah has one of the largest and busiest ports in the United States, and the city does everything it can to ensure that businesses operating here can prosper and that manufacturers can successfully import and export goods to and from the city. To do this, the city offers and provides:
- Incentives to businesses that are considering expanding or relocating to Savannah
- Services and technical assistance for prospective business owners
- Small business loans and financial resources
- Training and mentoring
- Networking opportunities
If you're considering starting a small business in Georgia, Savannah is the ideal city for your endeavor. Not only does the city make local business and the local economy a top priority, but Savannah entrepreneurs also have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. These include education, community organizations, and community involvement, and there are many people and institutions in the city that all work to ensure the success of new businesses.