South Carolina's business community is full of opportunities for diverse business owners. Learn more about the following resources available for minority, women, and veteran business owners. 

Benedict College - Business Development Center 

Established in 2002 as the brainchild of Benedict College's Harvard-educated President, Dr. David Swinton, the Benedict College Business Development Center (BDC) was created with a mission to expand the college's role and effectiveness in addressing the economic and business development needs of small and minority businesses. Located at 2601 Read Street in Columbia, South Carolina, the center's goal is to create jobs, increase business development, and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for low-to-moderate-income persons. 

  • Phone: 803-705-4682 

Women's Business Center of South Carolina 

Headquartered at Columbia College, the Women's Business Center of South Carolina establishes programs aimed at assisting women business leaders throughout the state. The WBC holds weekly programs, regional networking events, and locally hosted opportunities for engagement. 

SC Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification 

The mission of the SC Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification is to promote the interest of small and minority-owned businesses as a part of the free enterprise system, thereby enhancing economic growth and development in South Carolina. 

Minority Business Development Agency Business Center - US Department of Commerce 

The Minority Business Development Agency Business Center is funded by the US Department of Commerce and operated by DESA, Inc. through a cooperative agreement with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The center provides assistance to businesses with a minimum of 51 percent minority ownership, which includes the following groups: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, Native Americans (including Alaska Natives, Alaska Native Corporations, and Tribal entities), Asian Indians, and Hasidic Jews. 

  • Phone: 803-743-1152 

Small Business Development Center - Veterans Business Program 

The dedication and skills acquired through military training form a solid foundation for small business ownership. The Veterans Business Program (VBP) of the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) helps active and reserve duty military and veterans reach their potential as entrepreneurs. The VBP offers resources, such as free workshops and personalized consultations with experienced small business professionals. Whether retired, deployed, serving stateside, or transitioning back into civilian life, the Veterans Business Program is available to support entrepreneurial dreams. Starting a business requires significant planning. The VBP can assist with market research, business plans, and required forms and registrations. 

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal 

The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is designed to save you time with direct access to the resources necessary to guide every step of entrepreneurship. VEP makes it easier for small businesses to access federal services and quickly connects Veteran entrepreneurs to relevant “best practices” and information. 

Resources for Veteran-Owned Businesses 

This article outlines starting a business, finding funding, and gaining customers as a veteran business owner. 

US Small Business Association - Women's Business Center 

SBA and the Office of Women's Business Ownership collaborate with many organizations to make the best possible resources available to women entrepreneurs. Whether you are a woman interested in starting a business, applying for a business loan, finding government contracting opportunities, or improving an existing business, this page is a good point of reference for you. 

US Small Business Association - Veteran-owned Businesses 

The SBA offers support for veterans as they enter the world of business ownership. Find information about funding programs, training, and federal contracting opportunities. 

Boots to Business 

Boots to Business (B2B) is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense's Transition Assistance Program (TAP). B2B provides participants with an overview of business ownership and is open to transitioning service members (including National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses.