The Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (BASE) at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School begins its second year assisting early-stage sustainable businesses. BASE will connect the entrepreneurs in 15 organizations to a range of sustainability resources – from expertise to capital – to accelerate their growth and impact.
BASE is one of the first business incubators designed to support businesses that address the triple-bottom-line of financial profitability, social equity and environmental sustainability. The Center for Sustainable Enterprise at Kenan-Flagler created the interdisciplinary UNC program in 2008.
Its goal is to develop businesses that provide environmental and social solutions that model green business practices. It aims to strengthen communities by growing innovative, scalable green ventures and building the knowledge, talent and skill of North Carolinians.
BASE works to ensure the firms’ long-term success by providing expertise and resources during the crucial start-up phase. It assists a network of entrepreneurs by providing access to business coaching, workshops and training, and a network of entrepreneurs, investors and small-business experts.
The early-stage sustainable businesses that BASE will assist this year are:
- Alganomics, LLC in Southport, a producer of reliable, environmentally responsible, natural and renewable bio-products from algal sources (http://algaeresource.com/);
- Be Green, Be The Change in Morrisville, a manufacturer of 100 percent organic cotton T-shirts and baby clothing designed by consumers (http://www.begreenbethechange.com/);
- Builders of Hope in Chapel Hill, a nonprofit organization that recycles homes slated for demolition using green building standards and sells them at cost to workforce households (http://www.buildersofhope.org/);
- Carolina Wind Power in Wilmington, a developer of vertical-axis wind turbines designed to capture lower wind speed markets in rural areas and atop commercial facilities;
- Common Ground Green Building Center in Durham, a provider of retail showrooms specializing in eco-friendly products for building and home improvement and sustainable kitchen design (http://www.commongroundgreen.com/);
- Dulces Bakery in Durham, a social enterprise bakery of Latino inspired goods, including cookies, cakes, and other pastries;
- EcoMaintenance in Elizabeth City, a distributer of green cleaning supplies and provider of a green maintenance service that replaces harsh chemicals, caustic products and dangerous solvents (http://www.myecomaintenance.com/);
- Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, a brewery that uses seasonal farmed products, heirloom grains and Southern botanicals (http://www.fullsteam.ag/);
- Green Energy Lawn Care in Raleigh, a lawn-care company using emission-free mowers recharged by solar panels mounted on small fuel efficient trucks (http://www.greenenergylawncare.com/);
- Into Green Fashions in Greensboro, a retailer, wholesaler and manufacturer of bridal and special occasion dresses that seeks to make green apparel alternatives accessible and affordable;
- Liberación Juice Station in Pittsboro, an environmentally sustainable, green mobile juice bar that serves organic smoothies, fresh-pressed juices and teas using local ingredients http://www.liberacionjuicestation.com/LJS/Welcome_Bienvenidos.html
- Machen Advisory Group in Charlotte, offering property and facility management, brokerage, construction services, sustainable redevelopment, new development team assemblage, direction and project marketing (http://www.machengroup.com/);
- Oxide Architecture and Oxide Structure in Raleigh, a provider of architectural solutions and structural methods that are sensitive to societal and environmental well-being while attending to the needs of individual clients (http://www.oxidearchitecture.com/);
- Solar Art in Chapel Hill, a designer and manufacturer of aesthetically appealing solar structures that differentiate customers’ property; and
- Tec-Cel in Cary, a manufacturer of building block Li-ion cells that are incorporated into electric/hybrid vehicles and laptop computers.
These entrepreneurs will receive counsel from BASE mentors, master of business administration students and advisory board members; participate in networking events, training and workshops; have access to funding opportunities, service providers and the BASE resource network; and join a network of innovative sustainable entrepreneurs.
Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship Web site: www.cse.unc.edu/base
Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship contact: Anna Koltchagova, (919) 962-4259,
Kenan-Flagler Business School contact: Allison Adams, (919) 962-7235,
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415,