Applications are open for the ACRE Advanced program. Tell us about it, Commissioner.
Yes, Mike. SCDA founded the Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) in 2018 to help identify and nurture new ideas and agribusinesses in South Carolina.
A cornerstone of ACRE is the Advanced Entrepreneurship program, in which we seek entrepreneurs to push forward our state’s agribusiness industry.
We’re taking applications now.
The Advanced Entrepreneurship application requires a business plan and a ready-to-launch prototype or sales history for the applicant’s company or product. Applicants’ businesses must be located in South Carolina.
Applicants selected will have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges, competing to be awarded up to $25,000 for their company or product.
Previous awardees have achieved some notable successes with the help of the ACRE program:
- Milky Way Farm in Starr, South Carolina, received funding that helped them purchase their second robotic milking system, allowing them to increase their milk sales.
- Twin Creeks Lavender Farm in Williamston was able to purchase a barn that doubles as a retail shop and drying area for their lavender.
- ACRE also partnered with Project Victory Gardens to host a two-day Boots to Agribiz workshop for servicemen and women transitioning out of the military and into agriculture.
- …and many others.
Now in its fifth year, ACRE has so far awarded nearly $680,000 to 58 entrepreneurs, provided intensive training to 86 businesses, and hosted agricultural workshops for 1,100 South Carolina residents.
Visit acre-sc.com for information and the application.