Cape Fear Future and BB&T have announced a $50,000 donation to the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The donation is being made as part of the Chamber’s Cape Fear Future Passion Works campaign and is earmarked for entrepreneurship development, one of the three CFF focus areas.
The mission of CFF — the Wilmington Chamber’s flagship program — is to increase the number of higher wage jobs (knowledge sector economy) to foster economic growth and ensure the prosperity of the region. The initiative is helping build a community where knowledge sector workers would choose to live, work and play. The CFF strategic plan focuses on fostering an entrepreneurial community by supporting, promoting, and educating young and emerging entrepreneurs; assisting the improvement of our area school systems and expanding emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and improving the overall image of the greater Wilmington region by delivering community improvement projects that enhance quality of life.
“We are grateful and honored that BB&T and Cape Fear Future are supportive of our efforts as we continue to grow the entrepreneurial infrastructure and resources within our community,” said CIE director Jim Roberts. “We look forward to continuing our work with entrepreneurs from across the region and attracting new companies into our facility with this generous funding.”
“BB&T is pleased to support this important initiative in our community,” said BB&T Market President Charlie Mattox. “As a company, we believe that public-private partnerships, as evidenced here between BB&T, the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, are critical to help support the ideas and innovations that create jobs and foster a healthy long-term local economy. It is my belief that this collaborative effort will ignite the spark that will help to positively move our community forward and help us to become a leader in not only creative ideas, but small business formation and job creation for many years to come.”
Expanding the involvement of area businesses in community building efforts has been a key ingredient of Cape Fear Future, and has been well received by businesses such as BB&T. “As one of the top supporters of Cape Fear Future, BB&T understands the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship and building jobs from within,” said Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and CFF Chairman Hal Kitchin (McGuireWoods LLP). “We are very appreciative of BB&T’s support and look forward to continuing a strong relationship with them and the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as we move forward.”