Franklin Incubator featured in national book
Published 11:09 am Wednesday, October 2, 2013
FRANKLIN—The Franklin Business Incubator has been featured in National Business Incubators Association’s book “Best Practices in Rural Business Incubation: Successful Programs in Small Communities.”
Franklin is one of 10 small-town incubators from across the country featured in this book.
“I think it is an awesome recognition,” said Nancy Parrish, Franklin incubator manager. “It says a lot about city leaders for their vision for entrepreneurship in Franklin.”
The process started with a survey from the folks with NBIA working on the book project. Two and a half years ago, a preliminary survey was sent out, and Franklin responded. Parrish continued to respond as the surveyors asked more and more from rural incubators, and it made it through to the phone interviews.
After approximately eight steps, Parrish said she received phone call that Franklin was in the book.
“It just goes to show how special Franklin and Southampton County are,” she said. “Really, the whole region — we’ve got clients in North Carolina too.”
Parrish said the success of the program since it has been in existence is likely the biggest factor in getting the recognition.
“We’ve had 12 graduates,” said Parrish of the program that has been in existence since 2005. A graduate business is one that leaves the nourishing environment of the incubator and survives on its own.
“And we’ve been blessed with a poster child,” she said of Highgrounds Services, which has received many awards.
Another factor are the awards that the Franklin Business Incubator has won itself, Parrish said.
How full the incubator is also played a roll. It is a 40,000 square foot building, and it is 75 percent full.
“If you look at incubators in larger cities that are not half our size, and they do not have full houses,” Parrish said. “We’ve been blessed with clients.”
Parrish said she is thankful to the leadership that had the foresight to invest in a venture like this.
“I’m grateful for our advisory board, too,” she said of the 12-member board. “We’ve got a plethora of experience that a small business would need mentoring on, and they have been tremendous. Kudos to them for their time and the support they give the incubator.”