The Renasant Center for IDEAs is ready to help your small business grow into a global competitor in today’s economy. Powered by a suite of productive services and resources, we help you design, develop and eventually distribute your business goals into the community and global economy. GET STARTED NOW .
With the advent of the 21st Century, business leaders and the Community Development Foundation began to seek ways to ensure continued economic growth in Northeast Mississippi.
Past community entrepreneurial successes with dairy farming and industrial development led to the construction in 2006 of the Renasant Center for IDEAs, the Tupelo/Lee County Regional Business Incubator. Eight entities came together to fund the business incubator including the Economic Development Administration, Mississippi Development Authority, Tennessee Valley Authority, USDA Rural Development, Appalachian Regional Commission, Lee County Board of Supervisors, City of Tupelo, and the Community Development Foundation. On July 20, 2006, Renasant Bank and CDF announced that a naming rights agreement was formed providing naming rights for the facility to Renasant Bank.
The mission of the incubator is to provide the physical and social infrastructure to assist in the development of successful small businesses to diversify our area’s economy, create job opportunities, and foster economic growth and vitality to the community. As a program of CDF, the Renasant Center for IDEAs provides its business clients with a bundle of services designed to help the region’s entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed. The bundle of services includes business planning, counseling, networking opportunities, workshops on key business development topics, and shared use of business tools which would be too expensive for each new business to purchase individually.
The support staff at the business incubator plays a vital role in assisting entrepreneurs. Dr. Frank Wiebe, a business counselor with the Mississippi Small Business Development Center, meets with budding entrepreneurs to discuss business plans and the like. Bill Burge, Executive Director of the Northeast Mississippi Contract Procurement Center, serves business owners by helping them connect to contracting opportunities in securing government contracts.
The incubator has been home to seven very diverse business clients: Joe Joe’s Espresso and Cafe, Mabus Birch Agency, Manufacturing Solutions Center, Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance, PediaStaff, Residence Hospice Care, and Tierce Motivational Training. The business clients are currently working on the Kauffman Foundation’s Listening to Your Business’ 3-year business planning cycle. With three businesses having graduated, the incubator is seeking new entrepreneurs to serve with its bundle of services and business spaces.