The Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) is a new initiative from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture that is aimed at assisting local entrepreneurs to grow agribusinesses in South Carolina.
The Center focuses on six main program areas:
-Agribusiness Development Grants
-South Carolina Farm Link
-Local Food and Logistics
Each of these program areas is focused on providing support and information for the agricultural industry in South Carolina.
The Entrepreneurship Center provides two assistance programs, each with the opportunity for a grant award.
- The Agribusiness Planning Curriculum is provided in the Fall each year. Participants must submit an application to be considered, and if selected, will attend 3 six-hour courses spread over six weeks. These courses will cover important business start-up topics such as marketing, financial planning, legal requirements, and funding opportunities. At the end of the program, the participant will have developed their own business plan, which they can then pitch to a panel of judges for a chance to be awarded a $5,000 grant. Click here for a list of past awardees.
- The Advanced Entrepreneurship Program is offered in the Spring. To apply, entrepreneurs must submit an application and copy of their business plan. This program is targeted toward established businesses that are involved somehow in the agricultural industry. If selected, participants will present their business to a panel of judges for a chance to be awarded up to $25,000. Click here for examples of past awardees.
Matson Consulting is partnering with ACRE to provide assistance with these endeavors, especially regarding the Entrepreneurship Center and Agribusiness Development Grants. The firm provides support and technical assistance to ACRE and participants of the Entrepreneurship Center.
For more information about these programs and how to get involved with ACRE, visit the ACRE site or call Executive Director Kyle Player at (803)734-2324 .