The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship serves as a driver for economic growth and job creation in north Alabama by lending its expertise to small business owners at every stage of business development. By providing quality programming, business coaching, and networking opportunities, The Catalyst offers entrepreneurs and startups the tools they need successfully manage their businesses.
Originally founded in 2003 as the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama (WBCNA), the organization rebranded itself in 2017 as The Catalyst to better represent its services and mission.
“We’ve grown to be more than just a woman’s business center,” said Katie Williams, project manager. “The Catalyst has multiple projects under one umbrella, all with a different focus.”
Those projects include:
WBC: The Women’s Business Center Project serves as a principal source of information and resources; offering in-depth business coaching, entrepreneurial training, small business development and networking opportunities to help women start, expand and successfully manage their businesses.
TechRich: The Technology Regional Innovation Cluster Project provides services to government contractors, innovative, and technology companies. The Catalyst assists in locating, filtering and facilitating business opportunities by encouraging collaboration, innovation, technology transfer, commercialization and contracting opportunities among technology businesses.
HUBZone Accelerator: The HUBZone Accelerator Project serves as a one-stop resource for HUBZone companies to grow, share resources and market their capabilities to prime businesses and government agencies.
HOPE2 for Winston County: The Catalyst’s most recent project initiative. HOPE2 assists with business services in economically disadvantaged communities in west Alabama. Partnered with Valley Innovation Alliance, small business start-ups and entrepreneurs receive much-needed tech assistance and coaching.
BAM: A business microloan, focuses on giving entrepreneurs and small business start-ups essential financial resources to keep them on track, helping them to take their business to the next level. This program is a partnership between Redstone Federal Credit Union, Neighborhood Concepts, and The Catalyst. Says Williams, “We’ve seen a big gap between business startups and banks, where there’s a need for financial resources, yet no past performance data available to qualify for business loans.”
The Catalyst offers a variety of business-focused workshops, seminars, and networking events. In partnership with RFCU, they host a series of business seminars in the Atrium on the Wynn Drive campus.
For more information, visit www.catalystcenter.org and www.redfcu.org/seminars