Laureen Martinez, Communications Division Assistant Manager
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Mayor Jacobs Celebrates 10th Anniversary of the National Entrepreneur Center

Orlando, FL – The National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Tuesday, June 18th. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. with speakers from the three founding organizations: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, University of Central Florida President Dr. John Hitt, and Walt Disney World Resort President George Kalogridis.

The celebration will continue with free business seminars open to the public and guided tours of the facility located inside Orlando Fashion Square (3201 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando). Educational sessions will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. Dr. Jim Johnson from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will kick off the afternoon event at 1:00 p.m. with a presentation entitled; Disruptive Demographics – Implications for Florida’s Competitiveness. Additional free seminars on business networking and website management are also planned.

The NEC’s resident organizations provide a variety of services ranging from free business coaching, and low cost business seminars, to networking events and research tools. “This center is the result of true collaboration,” says Jerry Ross, NEC Executive Director. “From our community and corporate sponsors to each of our resident resource providers, there is a single mission here: to assist and accelerate business development in Central Florida. This has been the front door of entrepreneurship in Central Florida for 10 years! Now, that’s worth celebrating!” said Ross.

“Orange County is extremely proud of our partnership with the National Entrepreneur Center,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “The NEC is a vital economic engine for our small business community.” Orange County has provided funding to the NEC since its inception in 2003. The center is funded exclusively by local corporate, education, and municipal sponsorships, and is home to 11 nonprofit organizations that provide training, coaching and a variety of business resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the region.

Additional Information about the NEC:


  • Walt Disney World
  • University of Central Florida
  • Orange County
  • City of Orlando
  • Florida High Tech Corridor Council
  • Wells Fargo
  • Bank First
  • Regions Bank
  • Popular Community Bank
  • Florida Blue
  • Orlando Magic
  • Brighthouse Business Networks
  • Orlando Utilities Commission


  • US Department of Commerce
  • UCF Small Business Development Center
  • UCF Business Incubation Program
  • Hispanic Business Initiative Fund
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando
  • African American Chamber of Commerce
  • British American Chamber of Commerce
  • Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Women Business Owners
  • National Black MBA Association of Central Florida

About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its residents and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, one of the nation’s largest convention centers and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners, including the Mayor, who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.

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