College News

RISE program holds graduation for Spring 2022 class

Click to enlarge,  The Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center presented 16 participants from the Spring 2022 Real Investment in Sanford Entrepreneurs (REAL) program with certificates on Monday, March 28, at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic & Conference Center

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The Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center presented 16 participants from the Spring ... (more)

04.05.2022College & CommunityCollege GeneralStudents/Graduates

SANFORD - The Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center presented 16 participants from the Spring 2022 Real Investment in Sanford Entrepreneurs (RISE) program with certificates on Monday, March 28, at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic & Conference Center. Two participants were awarded $5,000 each in startup funding to assist in opening their businesses in Sanford.

The certificates were presented for completion of the RISE program, an eight-class entrepreneurship series created in collaboration with the Sanford Area Growth Alliance - Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Sanford, Inc.

Meg Moss, Executive Director of the Chamber said, "I am so proud of the partnership between the CCCC Small Business Center, Downtown Sanford, Inc., and the Sanford Area Growth Alliance. This partnership, in the form of the RISE program, has assisted 60 entrepreneurs since 2020 by helping them develop their business plans. With the support of the City of Sanford, I can say that we are truly an entrepreneurial town."

Participants in the program attend a series of seminars, create a business plan, have their business plans reviewed, and prepare a pitch on the final evening of the program to a review committee. Graduates of the program who open a retail business in downtown Sanford, Jonesboro, or Broadway may apply for a $5,000 start-up grant.

James and Jill Jones, owners of The Debonair Chef and one of the grant recipients, plan to open in Sanford very soon. According to Chef Jones, "This space will allow us to serve all of Sanford and surrounding areas with not only meal delivery service, but catering as well. Jill and I plan on having a number of tastings, community appreciation events, and much more."

The Jones' also plan to offer "The Table," which will be a local hand-crafted 16-seat dinner table to serve the underserved in the community. "Our staff will invite a family and serve them a four-course plated meal made with love and to show them that although they may be underserved, they are not undervalued," said Jones.

LaTasha Wilson, owner of Full Circle Beauty Consulting, also received a $5,000 startup grant. Wilson is bringing a full-service salon and spa with private suites to the Jonesboro area. Services planned for the salon include hair, makeup, full body waxing, and facials.

Funding for the grants was received from the City of Sanford and Wells Fargo Bank.

"Downtown Sanford, Inc. is extremely proud to be a partner with the Small Business Center of CCCC and the Sanford Chamber of Commerce to offer the RISE program in Sanford," said Kelli Laudate, Executive Director of Downtown Sanford, Inc. "This outstanding program has just graduated its fifth group of student entrepreneurs and there's no doubt that offering RISE -- a comprehensive program that provides a toolkit for those with a dream of owning their own business -- will continue to give way to thriving new businesses adding to our economic development of the city."

RISE is scheduled to begin a new session in October. Individuals interested in starting a small business in Lee County are encouraged to apply. Visit www.leesbc.com/rise for more information or contact Terri Brown at tbrown@cccc.edu or Kelli Laudate at kplaudate@downtownsanford.com.