The Louisiana Board of Regents at their June meeting in Baton Rouge approved Southern University at New Orleans' (SUNO) request to build a $3 million on-campus business incubator. More than $2 million of the funding for the building has been pre-approved by the U.S. Department of Education and comes from a special Title III-College Cost Reduction and Access Act Program. The incubator will be located on the Lake Campus, close to the new College of Business & Public Administration building which is near completion and should be occupied during in the fall.
The state-of-the-art facility is expected to be completed within two years and will allow for a seamless interaction between classroom education and real-world entrepreneurs. The facility will also serve as office space for entrepreneurs and will contain faculty and staff offices.
"We've all seen that New Orleans is serving as a model for entrepreneurship for the nation," said Dr. Victor Ukpolo, Chancellor of SUNO. "This provides entrepreneurs with another prime opportunity to grow their businesses and achieve the American dream in their respective lives." The August 2009 issue of Entrepreneur magazine declared the New Orleans metropolitan area as one of the U.S. cities with the fastest growth in entrepreneurship.
SUNO officials expect the incubator to contribute greatly to the academic landscape of the University. "It will create an ideal environment for cross-disciplinary learning and entrepreneurial collaboration between business majors and students from other majors," said Dr. Igwe Udeh, Dean of the College of Business & Public Administration. Udeh specifically points to students' opportunities to start businesses in social service fields such as mental health, child protection, assisted living, daycare, adult literacy, inmate-to-society transition programs, chemical dependency education, and drug abuse counseling. SUNO is highly regarded for its social science programs, namely Social Work, Criminal Justice, and Substance Abuse Counseling.
The facility will also support the College of Business & Public Administration's accreditation plan by allowing the faculty to deliver more practical teaching, research excellence, community service, and meet other accreditation requirements as required by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Southern University at New Orleans is a four-year public institution founded in 1956. Located in the Gentilly area, the University is an accredited liberal arts teaching institution which serves more than 3,100 students. SUNO, known for its highly engaged faculty and personal academic support, offers undergraduate degrees in seventeen academic programs and graduate degrees in four academic programs. The University accepts students under the Louisiana Board of Regents regional admission criteria, and is a member of the Southern University System. More information about Southern University at New Orleans is available at SUNO.edu.
Eddie Francis is Director of Public Relation for Southern University at New Orleans; he may be reached via email at EFrancis@suno.edu.
Image courtesy of SUNO.
Read more stories from The New Orleans Agenda »