Kenan-Flagler's Sustainable Incubator to Help 15 N.C. Businesses

A business incubator at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has begun its second year by connecting entrepreneurs in 15 early stage sustainable businesses in North Carolina to a range of sustainability resources — from expertise to capital — with the aim of accelerating their growth and impact.

The Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship, or BASE, is one of the first such incubators 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.

BASE’s goal is to help 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 long-term success by providing expertise and resources during crucial start-up phases. 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;
  • Be Green, Be The Change in Morrisville, a manufacturer of 100 percent organic cotton T-shirts and baby clothing designed by consumers;
  • 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 working families;
  • 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;
  • Dulces Bakery in Durham, a social enterprise bakery of Latino-inspired goods, including cookies, cakes and other pastries;
  • EcoMaintenance in Elizabeth City, a distributor of green cleaning supplies and provider of a green maintenance service that replaces harsh chemicals, caustic products and dangerous solvents;
  • Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, which uses seasonal farmed products, heirloom grains and Southern botanicals;
  • Green Energy Lawn Care in Raleigh, a lawn-care company using emission-free mowers recharged by solar panels mounted on small fuel-efficient trucks;
  • 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;
  • Machen Advisory Group in Charlotte, offering property and facility management, brokerage, construction services, sustainable redevelopment, new development team assemblage, direction and project marketing;
  • 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;
  • 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.

The entrepreneurs will receive counsel from BASE mentors, MBA 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.

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