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November 18, 2005
Ricky Clemons
New Atlanta-based Business Development Center Focused on Increasing Minority Entrepreneurship and Business Expansion
Urban League Brings $127.5 Million in Tax Credits
Atlanta, G.A. - November 10, 2005 - The National Urban League today announced it has opened the Atlanta branch of its Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP), part of a new initiative to open one-stop business centers in key urban areas nationwide. Administered by the Urban League of Atlanta this is the third designated center through an innovative public, private and non-profit collaboration announced a year ago, focused on increasing entrepreneurship and expanding opportunities for minority businesses.
In partnership with the Business Roundtable, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the White House National Economic Council (NEC), the Atlanta-based UEP center will be funded through $127.5 million in new markets tax credits. The center will offer a one-stop development center to provide business training, counseling, financing and procurement opportunities for minority and urban business owners.

"Atlanta is unique in that traditionally it has been a favorable environment for minority businesses and entrepreneurs," said Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. "Our goal in placing a center here is to help increase the pipeline of new entrepreneurs and also provide a central location where existing business owners can find the resources that will allow them to expand and grow."

Recent U.S. Census data indicates that minority-owned businesses account for 15.6 percent of the state's companies and generating nearly $13 billion in annual revenue. One aspect of the Atlanta center will be a focus on providing access to capital, an area that is still identified by minority entrepreneurs as a barrier to growth.

The Atlanta-based center will be professionally-staffed and is designed to address the spectrum of needs faced by new businesses to existing firms. As part of the partnership the Kauffman Foundation, an association of 150 CEOs of major business firms, is providing on-site resources and technical assistance that includes a national coaching model to mentor entrepreneurs. The UEP will also tap into the Business Roundtable's BusinessLINC program, which facilitates business-to-business partnerships between large corporations and small, often minority-owned businesses.

"We believe there is a new generation of entrepreneurship on the horizon in minority communities and especially urban centers like Atlanta," said Atlanta Urban League President Dr. Clinton Dye, Jr. "This center is focused on creating more collaboration with key stakeholders and giving minority entrepreneurs and business owners the tools to reach their full potential."

The Atlanta center is the third to launch of five pilot cities, including Cleveland and Kansas City and later Cincinnati and Jacksonville. Its goal is to develop fifteen more centers as part of a two-year initiative.

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National Urban League ( Established in 1910, The Urban League is the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Today, the National Urban League, headquartered in New York City, spearheads the non-partisan efforts of its local affiliates. There are over 100 local affiliates of the National Urban League located in 35 states and the District of Columbia providing direct services to more than 2 million people nationwide through programs, advocacy and research.
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