A new type of business incubator is currently working to improve both the economy and sustainability in the town of Davidson, North Carolina.
The Project for Innovation, Energy and Sustainability  (PiES) is a business incubator that provides assistance and guidance to local entrepreneurs with a focus on recycling, energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, sustainable food and other qualified green businesses. Its overall mission is centered around three key elements: Incubation, education and networking.
PiES is a public-private partnership with the Davidson community. With help from regional partners, the organization provides assistance with business development and growth, technical assistance, funding and marketing. The organization also offers low-cost office space complete with furniture, meeting rooms, and more to qualified businesses.
The organization also hosts special programs like a monthly networking event for green businesses and a contest for local high school students. The Annual Green Idea Factory Competition gives local students the opportunity to apply the things they’ve learned in classes to ideas that could have real-world environmental implications.
Small businesses have utilized incubators similar to PiES for years. They can be instrumental in getting small companies through the tough first few years by assisting with things like funding, planning and office space.
The kind of assistance PiES is providing isn’t new, but the focus on green business makes it unique. Sustainability is important not only to the environment but also to helping local economies. And the organization is taking advantage of a growing trend while also assisting others looking to do the same.
The number of green businesses in the marketplace is constantly growing. So it’s a definite possibility that incubators like PiES could take off as well. It’s certainly a concept that has done some good in Davidson, and has the potential to translate to other communities around the world.