Through its partnership with not-for-profit economic development corporation UCEDC, the EDA has been able to expand the array of training, technical and financial assistance services available to entrepreneurs and small companies throughout New Jersey. In 2014, the EDA also provided a $250,000 loan to UCEDC to help boost the lending capacity of the organization.
UCEDC offers a wide variety of free and low-cost training workshops, including a series of courses that help develop financial and business literacy for business owners at all stages of maturation and a comprehensive program that walks entrepreneurs through all aspects of starting a business, culminating in the development of a business plan. UCEDC also offers a range of financing vehicles.
In 2014, UCEDC trained or mentored more than 1,700 entrepreneurs, conducted 55 business training workshops, and provided $4.1 million in loans to 45 small businesses, 40 percent of which were minority or woman-owned enterprises.
Dianne Grossman, owner of Carpet Girl, is a recent graduate of UCEDC’s Entrepreneurship 101 program. Her Springfield-based business offers in-home service, factory direct carpet and flooring and can provide a full service – from measuring to installation. With over 20 years in the flooring and carpet industry, Grossman always dreamed of opening her own business.
“The class was an eye-opener. You have no idea what you don’t know until you know it!” - Dianne Grossman, owner, Carpet Girl