Wherever there's a will, you'll find us - empowering our community to do the extraordinary. At Southeast, we partner with business and industry leaders across the region to build a better community.
Fostering business and workforce development and facilitating the process of innovation to enhance the regional economy is the daily work of our Engagement Center. It’s where we pair the institutional knowledge and resources from Southeast Missouri State University with those around us to create new, high-value jobs; generate positive economic and social benefits; and advance entrepreneurship.
The Engagement Center encompasses the award-winning LaunchU Business start-up program, Small Business Development Center, and Continuing Education and Personal Enrichment.
Coronavirus Guidance & Loan Resources
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business
Southeast is doing its part to help companies stay afloat and keep paychecks flowing to Missouri workers and families. Gain access to guidance and loan resources that can help small businesses navigate the challenges surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Start Your BusinessAttend a training or meet with a counselor as part of the LaunchU Startup class to receive one-on-one coaching on business planning, marketing strategy, financial planning, market research, and more. The consulting comes at no cost to you.
Grow Your BusinessWe expect growth from our clients and provide useful tools to track your progress. Meet one-on-one with a consultant to talk about your current business and determine the best course of action. We can help set goals and determine the best combination of consultants, training, and programs to help you obtain them.
Financing AssistanceFinancing is available for new or existing small businesses in the Southeast Missouri region through the Engagement Center’s closely allied nonprofit, the Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC). The goal: Create and retain jobs; complement local lenders; and, partner with local organizations to provide complementary resources.
Agriculture TechnologyGet technological advice and assistance; financial counseling and assistance; and business planning assistance from experts to build the agriculture technology ecosystem in the Missouri Bootheel. Southeast connects businesses, startups, research centers and communities to make Missouri an attractive place for the future of agriculture.
President, Southeast Missouri State University
The Engagement Center works closely with Southeast’s Office of Career Services to monitor and respond to the region’s workforce needs.
Southeast in 2003 launched the Innovation Center and Missouri Research Corporation to support the advancement of the region’s economic appeal and strength by accelerating local and regional economic growth and development. Over the next several years, those entities’ offered business development services, business incubator space, entrepreneurial training, access to capital, research and technical assistance, and more.
In 2006, the entities partnered with the Kauffman Foundation and the Delta Regional Authority to offer training for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
More than 600 participants had been trained through the program by 2011, resulting in 281 new businesses. The Kauffman Foundation then joined with the nonprofit to continue the development and distribution of the program nationwide to more than 150 affiliate organizations.
The U.S. Department of Commerce in 2013 awarded the entities with designation as an Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center and the nonprofit was renamed the Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) to reflect its development into more entrepreneurial and economic development activity.
With this rapid growth of both outreach and student-focused efforts, there was a separation to better serve each group resulting in the now Economic and Business Engagement Center primarily serving the external community.
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The Will to Do
Are you an entrepreneur, economic developer, or professional seeking development opportunities? Southeast offers a wealth of training and programs for business owners of all levels of expertise, across all industries.