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Entrepreneurship Resources
Thrive Mentor Program
Starting your business

Sunrise Business Breakfasts
Technology Business Breakfasts

Entrepreneurial Resources
Waco currently has and continues to develop dynamic resources available to practicing and aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. Among the resources available include:

Center for Business Excellence
The Center of Business Excellence is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering entrepreneurs resources to grow and succeed in business – including facilities, resources and services. The business incubator facility is located in downtown Waco at the Baylor Tower at 801 Washington Ave., Ste 602. We offer free one-on-one business counseling, professional workroom equipment, resource library, faxing services and a computer center with Internet and software programs for small businesses including business plans. Other services we have on a low-cost basis are copies, office supplies, mailbox rental, executive office rental, conference room rental, projector/laptop rental and entrepreneurial training courses. Come by and get a tour of our facilities. Call and make an appointment to review your business future plans. We want to help your business grow and succeed. For more information call (254) 753-3399 or visit the CBE website.  

Baylor University
The John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship currently houses the Innovation Evaluation Program and the Institute for Family Business. The primary goal of the center is to extend an arm of support to the local and national business community in such a way as to facilitate new business and further the goals of established businesses.

The Entrepreneurship program is ranked 2nd by Princeton Review/Entrepreneur Magazine (2013) and 13th by U.S.News & World Report. It is one of the best 25 Entrepreneurship programs according to Fortune Small Business, which also places the Family Business program in its choice of the best six in the nation. For more information on these programs, click here.

McLennan Community College (MCC)-Small Business Development Center
SBDC staff members provide free one-on-one counseling to business owners or prospective business owners. Counseling is provided through individual sessions on all aspects of small business operations: development of a business plan, financing options, human resources, marketing, strategy and business development. The SBDC hosts affordable training seminars and special events throughout the year designed to help you broaden your business network and knowledge with other entrepreneurs. For more information, call (254) 299-8141.  

SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives Association) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the small business community through no-fee mentoring and business counseling and low-cost workshops. SCORE Association members volunteer their time and considerable business expertise to help coach the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

Business Resource Center
The Heart of Texas Business Resource Center is a community-development based organization. Through the years, the BRC has administered a revolving loan fund, provided community access to its Business Info Center and housed a small business incubator. The BRC is currently focusing on redeveloping the downtown Stratton building as a non-profit center. 

Small Business Working Group
The Small Business Working Group is made up of representatives of various agencies to provide a forum for education and collaboration between agency personnel who service small business owners. This Chamber-initiated group meets bi-monthly. The group is currently studying and discussing the potential for a business incubator to serve Greater Waco.

Small Business Guide
As a complement to these efforts, the Chamber has developed a small business guide to serve as a roadmap for prospective small business owners as they begin making their way through the process of starting a new business in the Greater Waco area. For more information, call (254) 757-5626.


Starting Your Business
Several steps involved in starting your business before you ever open your doors to customers.  Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, but rather intended to remind you of a few things you will need to take care of in the beginning of the whole process.

Choosing Your Business StructureTexas Wide Open For Business
This site describes the differences between business structures and also offers resources, forms and requirements you will need to start your business.

Registering your Business with the County and/or State
Assumed Name Certificate– McLennan County Clerk’s Office 
Each person who regularly conducts business or renders professional services other than as a corporation, limited partnership, registered limited partnership or limited liability company in a particular county must file an assumed name certificate with the county clerk so that a record is available as to the business. For more information, call (254) 757-5000

Certificate of Formation - Texas Secretary of State
Depending on your business structure, you may be required to file a certificate of formation with the Texas Secretary of State. This may be done online using SOS Direct.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN is also known as a federal tax ID number and is used to identify a business entity or nonprofit organization. The EIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service. View the IRS site for more information on applying for an EIN. 

Being an Employer in Texas
From resumes to wages, Texas Wide Open For Business contains tools to help you fulfill your employee requirements and tax responsibilities. Includes links to information on Texas Unemployment Tax, Workers’ Compensation, posting jobs and more.

Business License
Depending on the type of business you are starting, certain licenses or permits may be required by the State of Texas. For an A-Z listing of licenses, permits and registrations by name or type, visit Texas Online.

Business Location
Zoning – City of Waco Planning Department 
Waco’s Planning Department can assist with zoning questions and requests, as well as suggest specific areas of town suitable for your business needs. For more information, call (254) 750-5650.
Waco Prospector allows users to search for vacant building space or developable land, for sale or for lease. This unique mapping program will also search a database of properties that match your specific property criteria and display the matching properties for you to review.

Do not forget to take advantage of local entrepreneurial resources as you work on other aspects of your business such as the business plan, loan proposals, marketing plans and more. See Entrepreneurship Resources for more information.


Sunrise Business Breakfast

SBBSunrise Business Breakfasts provides current and prospective small business owners with a forum for networking and education on relevant business topics. The Greater Waco Chamber and MCC-Small Business Development Center host this event the Greater Waco Chamber at 101 S. Third Street. This program is made possible by the generosity of presenting sponsor:

For more information, contact the MCC-SBDC at (254) 299-8141.


Technology Business Briefings

Greater Waco companies are involved in telecommunications, information technology, life sciences, software, aerospace, engineering design and a host of other high-tech fields. Large and small companies throughout Greater Waco create business, education and employment opportunities.

The Technology Business Briefings bring together high-tech companies and service providers in Waco for three reasons - networking, education/awareness and collaboration. The Greater Waco Chamber hosts them bi-monthly at a local high-tech company or facility. The event includes a dedicated time for networking and a program highlighting a company in the area or an issue that impacts local technology industry.

Brashears Homes, LLC.