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Entrepreneur Collaborative Center Wins Prestigious National Award for Serving Residents

Community and Economic Development Award is a National Honor for Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County, Fla. (May 14, 2019) - Hillsborough County has been recognized nationally for being one of the most innovative counties in the United States for its Entrepreneur Collaborative Center, winning a prestigious 2019 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) in the category of Community and Economic Development.

The annual awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. Hillsborough County's Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (ECC) has transformed the delivery of entrepreneur and small-business services, serving as a satellite home for more than 85 nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions that support entrepreneurs.

The ECC is one of the most groundbreaking county-run programs serving entrepreneurs in the nation, and this award recognizes the 4-year-old center for its impact on the small business community. In fiscal year 2018, more than 12,000 people attended 956 entrepreneurship programs hosted at the center. Additionally, almost 1,500 clients received one-on-one consulting services.

The ECC had a record-breaking month in March of 2019 with 109 events hosted at the center and 1,295 attendees - small business owners and entrepreneurs in Hillsborough County finding advice and best practices to start and grow their business. There are more than 90 partners that utilize the ECC for programming, networking, and one-on-one consulting. These partners consist of nonprofit organizations, government agencies and academic institutions that serve entrepreneurs, as well as startup and existing businesses, in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough is one of more than 3,000 counties across the nation competing for Achievement Awards from NACo. Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide.

About Hillsborough's Entrepreneurship Collaborative Center
The Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (ECC) was established by Hillsborough County Economic Development in 2014 to provide entrepreneurs easy access to business service providers, resources, mentorship, and specialty training. Services are provided for each businesses' unique stage of development and business category: pre-venture, start-up, micro-enterprise, small-to-mid-size enterprise, community-based, targeted industry, technology and innovation, and more.

The ECC is centrally located in historic Ybor City. The facility often hosts partner events in the evenings and on the weekends. The ECC observes government holidays in accordance with the Hillsborough County calendar. Operated by Hillsborough County Economic Development, the ECC serves as a perfect venue to host low- and no-cost entrepreneurial support opportunities and events. Hillsborough Economic Development welcomes the opportunity to co-host community events and programs that fit the mission and goals of the ECC, pending resource availability.

About the National Association of Counties
The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America's 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public's understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. Learn more at www.naco.org.

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