About the Entrepreneurship Summit

Brief History

The initial idea for a statewide entrepreneurship summit came in a 2004 white paper from the North Carolina Business Resource Alliance, a virtual organization of business resource providers working to develop a comprehensive network of business services for the state.

Alliance members contributing to the Entrepreneurship Summit include the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), Small Business Center Network, NC Department of Commerce, NC REAL, NC Rural Center, Good Work and many others.   This year Charlotte is proud to be hosting the Summit through the active participation of a regional planning team including Packard Place, City of Charlotte, Ventureprise, and NC Biotechnology Center.

The North Carolina Entrepreneurship Summit was initiated by the NC Rural Center and Alliance partners through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and held in the Triangle in 2006 and 2007. Subsequent Summits were held in Greensboro in 2008 and Wilmington in 2010.  While the Rural Center was an initiating partner of the summit , it was and is always intended as a statewide event with strong urban participation.

The themes of the summits to date have been:

2006:  Building the Foundation
2007:  Framing our Economic Future
2008:  Doorways to Entrepreneurial Communities
2010:  Keys to NC’s Economic Future
2011:  Breaking the Mold (2011 highlights)
2012:  Creating a Scene (2012 highlights)
2013:  Revving Up (2013 highlights)

Summit activities were organized around five key imperatives, which are still important today.

  1. Foster entrepreneurship education at all levels.
  2. Broaden financial options for start-ups, research and development, and business growth.
  3. Invest in a high-quality, integrated system of support services.
  4. Strengthen business-to-business networking opportunities.
  5. Enhance the environment for entrepreneurship. Provide leadership through both policy and community support.

Entrepreneurship of North Carolina History Exhibit

See a pictorial history of entrepreneurs who have shaped North Carolina's economy...

Fast Facts

  • NC is currently the 17th largest state in the nation in value of exports. In 2010, North Carolina's exports grew in nearly every sector and export value reached $24.8 billion, a 14% increase over 2009.
  • High-tech firms in NC employed 47 of every 1,000 private sector workers in 2010 (ranked 25th nationwide).
  • Nearly all net new job creation since 1980 has occurred in small businesses less than five years old.
  • In 2011, NC was ranked #2 of Best States for Business by Chief Executive Magazine
  • NC ranked #3 in Forbes' 2010 & 2011 Best States For Business and CNBC's 2011 America’s Top States for Business lists.

Find these and more NC business facts in the 2012 NC State of Small Business.