BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Brunswick Community College not only offers courses for people to work towards a career, but the school also provides the resources it takes to launch a business.
BCC’s Business and Industry Incubator is a space at the Leland campus that allows manufacturing businesses to get started.
Lucas Cole stumbled upon the incubator while looking at a newspaper several years ago. He and his wife had decided that he’d quit his teaching job and stay home with their daughter while building his furniture business from their garage.
“We decided I would stay at home," said Cole. "Work during naps, nights, and weekends and throughout the course of that year I was able to build it into a full-time business.”
Cole owns Luke’s Furniture Co. He makes anything from bench seating to smart desks. But as his business was growing, Cole realized it was time to move on from the “home office” and get a different space, at an affordable price. He decided to apply to get an incubator space at BCC. There are three rooms ranging from 950 to 1,100 square feet. Just what Cole was looking for.
“I found it to be a really, really great way to start my business and get me transitioned from the garage home shop to my new shop will be about three times the size and have a storefront," said Cole. “Being able to just come to work and focus during the time that I’m here has been great, then when I’m home, I can be 100% home whereas it used to be, I was always a little bit working and a little bit at home.”
Cole will graduate from the incubator in November. He spent the last three years there growing his client base and perfecting his trade. He has a message for all the entrepreneurs out there looking for a way to get started:
“Make sure you really prepare; you really plan for all of those next steps because if you go into it blind, you’re going to have trouble but if you go into the next steps of growth whether it be hiring new employees, moving to a bigger space, buying new equipment," said Cole. "Just make sure you write down exactly what you expect so you can make sure it was a good move as you plan for future growth.”
For more information on the incubators, click here.
UNCW has the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, similar to the incubator. For more information on that, visit CIE’s website.