The Kelley Center for Economic Development

Who We Are

The FMU Kelley Center for Economic Development is dedicated to the economic growth of the region through business incubation, small business outreach, and various regional economic development initiatives. The Kelley Center also managed the North Dargan Innovation Center in partnership with the City of Florence from October 2016 to January 2019. Under the Kelley Center’s direction, the North Dargan Innovation Center created an environment that has a proven track record of business incubation and for supporting regional start-up and existing businesses through small business assistance.

FMU has two business incubators in Florence at the new Francis Marion University Place at 142 North Dargan Street and in Lake City at The Continuum at 208 W. Main Street. Both locations provide services such as small business assistance, professional development training for the surrounding communities, and business incubation.

Business Incubation

The purpose of the incubator is to provide your business a place to foster within a collective community of support and resources. The structure provides the opportunity to establish objective measures of growth for each business, which will serve to identify growth and progress. The incubator serves as a short-term (1 year) support mechanism to help you effectively build your business and grow at a sustainable rate with the hope that you will find success after completing the program. Therefore, you should work to fully maximize your time while in the incubator program.  Once the one-year program is complete, the incubated business will move into Post-Launch outside of the facility.

Visit the link below to find out more about Business Incubation.

Business Assistance

The staff at the Kelley Center for Economic Development provide technical assistance to non-incubator clients in the area of business plan development, resource identification, and other business services. Small Business Assistance can take place at the business incubator, by phone, through email, or web conference. We strive to make connecting with the small business seeking assistance easy and convenient.

If you are interested in small business assistance, please complete the client intake form and a staff member will contact you to further assist you.

A business plan is a vital part of starting and growing a business. The business plan questionnaire is a process to help jump start the writing process. To start working on the business plan, please download the questionnaire and work through each section.

Contact Us

Photo of Brianna Dennis

Brianna L. Dennis

Executive Director
Kelley Center for Economic Development

Florence Office:
University Place, Suite 207
Lake City Office:
The Continuum, Suite 606
Phone: 843-661-1205
bdennis@fmarion.edu

Photo of Avery Covington

Avery Covington

Program Coordinator
Kelley Center for Economic Development

Office: The Continuum, Suite 608
Phone: 843-374-4400
acovington@fmarion.edu

Jamie H. Hopkins

Program Coordinator
Kelley Center for Economic Development

Office: University Place, Suite 206
Phone: 843-661-4606
Jamie.Hopkins@fmarion.edu