Best Small Business Resources in the Raleigh Area

Starting a business is a life-changing experience. North Carolina has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Raleigh area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in North Carolina.

Resources Available in your Area

North Carolina SBTDC

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.


Design Box

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Product Development
  • Sales & Marketing

Description

Design Box is a design consulting firm that specializes in branding and launching products. They specialize in building brand identities through websites and intelligent product design, as well as manufacturing, sourcing, and quality planning. Design Box boasts over 30 years of experience helping an international range of clients and primarily work with entrepreneurs who already have experience launching a product (their focus is product design, not development).

CONTACT INFORMATION:

413 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27603
919-834-3552


Loading Dock

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Coworking
  • Networking

Description

This coworking space all of the amenities and services an entrepreneur needs to start a new business, such as desks and internet, mail service, and conference rooms. Some less-common amenities include free parking and onsite notary service. A "co-warehousing" space offers room for companies to store, package, and ship products using label printers and pallet-moving equipment. They also host very frequent networking and learning events that help connect entrepreneurs to new businesses and other community leaders.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

1053 E. Whitaker Mill Rd, Suite 115
Raleigh, NC 27604
919-999-0252
info@loadingdockraleigh.com

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - FRI: 9 am - 5 pm


Raleigh SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.


The Incubator @ Centennial Campus

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Coworking
  • Research

Description

This organization is primarily a coworking space on NC State University's campus, leveraging access to a talented student body and faculty. Membership plans are offered for both coworking, private offices, and wet lab space. They also host educational events like lunch-and-learns and workshops. 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

1017 Main Campus Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606
919-515-0769
incubatordesk@ncsu.edu


West Regional Library

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Research

Offers Free Service

Accepts Walks In

Description

The Wake County library system (in particular the West Regional Library) offers many research databases and other services useful to someone looking to start a small business. Most of their small business databases and ebooks are accessible online to anyone with a library card. Some locations also offer educational classes and counseling by the SCORE organization. 

Restrictions

A library card is required to access most services

CONTACT INFORMATION:

4000 Louis Stephens Drive
Cary, NC 27519
919-463-8500

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON–THU: 9 am – 9 pm
FRI: 10 am – 6 pm
SAT: 10 am – 6 pm
SUN: 1 pm – 5 pm