Minority-owned small businesses often lack the support they need to access critical resources, and a new grant has been awarded to help with that. Learn more about the $200,000 grant that has been received by Delaware State University‘s College of Business in the DSU release below.

(L-r) Shannon Henry, Troy Farmer, COB Dean Michael Casson, and LIllie Crawford of the College of Business will lead the work of implementing the Community Navigator Program to help small businesses in Dover – and especially in the downtown area of the state capital. (Credit: Delaware State University)

Delaware State University’s College of Business has been awarded a two-year $200,000 grant from the University of Delaware’s Small Business Development Center to be a part of its Community Navigator Program to help underserved businesses access critical resources.

Del State’s College of Business (COB) is part of a statewide coalition organized by UD’s Small Business Development Center to provide critical support to historically underserved businesses in the First State. The COB is joined in this initiative by entities such as the State of Delaware’s Division of Small Business, United Way of Delaware, Delaware’s Black Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware Hispanic Commission, and others organizations.

The COB will use the grant funding to focus the Navigator Program on the Downtown Dover community by providing small business workshops, training sessions, and 1-on-1 support to entrepreneurs. The Navigator Program will support early-stage start-up businesses and those who are striving to grow through innovation and commercialization, and encourage practices that will result in sustainability.

The initiative will involve the work of the COB’s Delaware Center for Enterprise Development, the Garage Entrepreneur and Innovation Maker Space, the Innovation Café, and the Center for Urban Revitalization and Entrepreneurship.

As part of Delaware State University’s priority to be an economic development asset locally, the COB’s Center for Urban Revitalization and Entrepreneurship is currently based on the DSU Downtown campus. That Center will provide workspace, training, and other business development support, especially to minority-owned businesses.

“The COB is committed to leveraging our expertise and resources to spur innovation and create positive change in Delaware’s minority business communities,” said Dr. Michael Casson, Dean of the College of Business. “Thus, we are excited about this opportunity to leverage our Center for Urban Revitalization and Entrepreneurship and our Delaware Center for Enterprise Development, in partnership with the SBDC’s Navigator program, to provide business development training, counseling and resources to our communities of color.”

The statewide Community Navigator Program in Delaware is supported by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration awarded to the UD Small Business Development Center.