Program Information

Helping A-B Tech students achieve their dream of successfully starting their own business.

female student sitting at spindle spinning yarnThe Student Business Incubator Program is an extracurricular activity designed to provide a motivating, supportive environment to A-B Tech students who want to start their own business and guide them toward becoming sustainable, contributing members of a strong economic community. This program is administered by the A-B Tech Small Business Center (SBC) and is located at A-B Tech Enka.

Students interested in participating in this program must submit an application and register as a client of the SBC. Any A-B Tech student enrolled in at least six semester hours, who has an idea for a business, may apply.

By providing critical assistance during the start-up phase, the Student Business Incubation Program will help student-run businesses overcome the odds of business failure. A National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) study reports that 87% of incubator startups are still in business after 10 years, compared to a survival rate of only 44% of non-participants after four years in business.

Photo Right: A-B Tech student Ashley Eskew spins wool into yarn in the community college’s Student Business Incubator program offices.  Eskew is working to launch her business, Twist Fiber Studio, with the help of the college.  She was able to raise money through a Kickstarter campaign.

 Student Participants

How to Apply

Students interested in starting their own business must submit an application and register as a client of the SBC. Applications can be found online at the link below.

Student Business Incubator Application

Eligibility Requirements

The Student Business Incubator program is open to any current A-B Tech student who is enrolled in a minimum of six semester credit hours. Students MUST maintain this status during the program. In addition, as a prerequisite for applying to the Student Business Incubator, all students must complete the Small Business Center's online, free entrepreneurial training program called HP LIFE (Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs. To signup, visit  HP LIFE (Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs

Program Requirements

Once accepted into the Student Business Incubator Program, students will be required to participate in the following:

  • Register as a Small Business Center Client. To register, visit Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Small Business Center.

  • Meet with a Small Business Center counselor on a regular basis to further develop the business idea.  

  • Attend meetings, events, seminars and workshops as time permits and as recommended by the Small Business Center counselor. 

  • Maintain Student Status - Students must maintain their student status (being enrolled in six semester credit hours) while participating in the program.

College and Community Event Participation

There will be opportunities in the community and within the College for students to showcase their business. Students are expected to serve as ambassadors for the college and for this program during their tenure as requested.

Program Benefits:Business Incubation

  • Computer and Internet Access
  • Consulting and technical assistance
  • Access to business machines (fax, copier, scanner, printer)
  • Technology support (Internet access)
  • Coaching, mentoring and individual advising
  • Networking opportunities
  • Conference and training room availability
  • Promotional Opportunities

Participants Will Learn:

  • How to complete a business plan
  • How to effectively manage their business
  • How to better understand the legal issues of small business ownership
  • How to successfully market their product or service

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of a small business?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) classifies a small business as a company with 500 or fewer employees with annual revenue under $5,000,000. 

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Do I receive academic credit for this program if selected?

No, this is an extracurricular program and students do not receive academic credit.

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Can students apply if they have already started a business?

YES! Students who have a current business may still apply to the SBI program.

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Can a student accepted into the SBI program still maintain his/her academic schedule?

YES! Students are required to be enrolled in a minimum of six semester hours.

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How could a student become disqualified from the SBI program?

Not maintaining one’s current student status, not completing milestones as identified by the Small Business Center counselor, engaging in illegal activities and not adhering to the program requirements are all ways in which a student could be terminated from the program.

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Is my idea protected during the application process?

Yes, as you go through the application process, your application package will be kept confidential and will only be shared with A-B Tech staff and the Student Business Incubator Program Selection Committee.

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The goals of the Student Business Incubator Program are:

  • At the end of the program students will "graduate" out of the Student Business Incubator and, depending on the type of business, may be eligible to enter the traditional incubation program, move into outside commercial space or position their business to be sold.
  • These small businesses will become successful, self-supporting entities and will create jobs within our community.
  • Graduates of the SBI will serve as mentors to future students not only at A-B Tech but also to middle school and high school students who have expressed an interest in entrepreneurship.

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For more information, contact Duane Adams, Associate Director, 828.398.7951,