Grant to help fund Norwescap Center for Entrepreneurship

SUSSEX. A series of professional development workshops for entrepreneurs will begin April 18.

Sussex /
| 04 Apr 2024 | 01:24

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a $77,797 USDA Rural Business Development Grant to Norwescap to establish the Norwescap Center for Entrepreneurship.

Combined with additional funds contributed by Norwescap, the total project amounts to $216,346.

The center will be located in Norwescap’s building at 37 Main St., Sussex, which houses the Sussex Borough Community and Cultural Center, established in 2022.

“Rural, small businesses throughout the state represent the heart of our communities, providing essential services and employment for so many,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Jane Asselta. “These funds will directly support the hard-working, deserving residents of New Jersey. We’re continually proud to play a critical role in ensuring these rural communities thrive.”

Mark Valli, chief executive of Norwescap, said, “This funding is a testament to the collaborative efforts of USDA and Norwescap. We believe that by providing access to resources and support, we can help businesses achieve long-term success and contribute to the growth of our community.”

The Norwescap Center for Entrepreneurship will provide administrative resources, technology, professional development, mentorship, networking, and other assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The project includes establishing a physical space, recruiting businesses, offering summer entrepreneurship programs and collecting data on business growth.

The center will launch its inaugural program, a series of professional development workshops for entrepreneurs, on Thursday, April 18. The Business Development Academy will run for eight weeks, with sessions from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays.

Led by expert trainers from UCEDC, a nonprofit Economic Development Corp., the course will be followed by ongoing one-on-one mentoring to guide participants through the fundamentals of building a solid business.

Valued at $1,000, the program is offered free to qualified applicants.

Applications for the program are being accepted online at For information, contact Sean Hyland, the Norwescap community development project manager, at (908) 454-7000 ext. 1902 or

UCEDC is actively supporting small-business development in Phillipsburg, another of Norwescap’s portfolio revitalization neighborhood communities.

Norwescap, founded in 1965, is dedicated to empowering families and individuals in New Jersey. Through a comprehensive array of services, it guides individuals through crises and challenges, helping them move toward a thriving future. Its programs address immediate needs and build long-term success strategies in education, employment, financial empowerment, health and nutrition, housing and community development, and volunteerism.

For information about Norwescap, go online to

CORRECTION: The date for the series of professional development workshops for entrepreneurs to begin has been changed to April 18. A different date was included in an earlier version of this article.