(Lawrenceville, Ga., July 21, 2020) – The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved the renovation of a former preschool building for  an entrepreneur center that will nurture fledgling business startups and support small business growth in Gwinnett.

The Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, located on Perry Street in Lawrenceville, will provide budding entrepreneurs with instruction, workshops, coaching, peer learning, connections to customers and capital, and market research, plus membership opportunities that include co-working space and offices.

“Gwinnett has always strived to be a welcoming place for business, and this is the next logical step,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “We want to help small business succeed. There may be someone in Lawrenceville or Suwanee who has an idea that could be the next Amazon or Microsoft. The GEC can help those people with the necessary nuts and bolts of business to flourish. The GEC will be a point of entry into the entrepreneur network for all Gwinnett small business when they need help and may not know where to turn. It’s good for them and it’s good for Gwinnett.”

The $1.5 million center will feature private offices and co-working space where members can work in an open collaborative atmosphere, a training room with technological equipment, conference rooms, a breakroom/dining area, and outdoor workspace.

“The Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center will be a place where businesspeople who are starting out can learn from experts, from experienced business owners or CEOs, or from each other,” said District 4 Commissioner Marlene Fosque. “At the GEC, people can master essential principles of business as they develop partnerships and connections that can help them succeed and create new opportunities to pay it forward by mentoring the next entrepreneur.”

The center will be actively recruiting owners from low-to-moderate income households, as well as minority owners.

Gwinnett County is in talks with Georgia Gwinnett College about partnering with its business school to operate the center under County direction.

The project will renovate the 6,718-square-foot, single-story structure that formerly housed the Sheltering Arms Educational Center. The Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center is tentatively set to open later this year.

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