More than 90 percent of businesses in Kentucky have fewer than 50 employees. Small businesses make a vital contribution both to their communities and to Kentucky’s overall economic health. Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit? If you have a great idea for a product or service, help is available to make your dream come true.
The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship
Are you in high school? Get a taste of what the future holds by applying to the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship (GSE). The GSE is a three-week summer residential program for teens where teams put together a product or service, using STEAM skills and enterprise skills. They pitch their idea to a live audience and panel of judges on Demo Day. Teens have the opportunity to gain high school credit and scholarships and build a company. For information: https://www.kentuckygse.com/
Kentucky Business One Stop Portal
Have an idea but need more information on how to get started in Kentucky? The Kentucky Business One Stop Portal portal is a “one stop shop” with tools necessary to assist you in registering and operating your business in Kentucky.
Information includes everything you need to know from the planning stage to actually operating your business and even expanding it. You can find out which permits, licenses and regulations apply to your business.
There’s even a page of financial resources, with all you need to know about loans, incentives, and funding for workforce training.
Need one-on-one counseling? You can find help free of charge through a number of Kentucky support networks.
Kentucky Resources You Should Know About
The Kentucky Small Business Development Centers has 13 service centers across the state and is co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and administered by the University of Kentucky in partnership with universities, colleges, and the private sector.
The Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certification Program supports minority and women owned businesses in Kentucky. The certification allows minority and women owned businesses to compete for work in other states that require certification by a statewide body
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Certification Program supports service-disabled military veterans who own a business and live in Kentucky. This certification program allows service-disabled veteran-owned businesses to compete for work in other states that require certification by a statewide body.
Accelerators and Incubators
Are you looking to jump-start your business growth? Would you like to share costs and met up with others like yourself? Accelerators and incubators are here to help.
Business accelerators guide entrepreneurs through the process of writing a business plan, then launching and growing their business.
Incubators offer collaborative space for new businesses where entrepreneurs can brainstorm together and support one another with lower overhead costs.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development has a listing of business accelerators and incubators. Learn more: Entrepreneurship: Accelerators and Incubators
Several colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System have business incubators on campus. For more information, contact the Workforce Solutions department at your local college.
University Centers for Entrepreneurship
- Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics
- University of Louisville Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship
- Northern Kentucky University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Western Kentucky University Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Eastern Kentucky University Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (CEDET)