Urban Business Incubator

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The Community Entrepreneurship Institute is a non-profit organization that supports business start-ups in urban settings. It was founded in 2005 by UAB assistant professor of social work Karen Starks and is located in the A. G. Gaston Building at 1527 5th Avenue North in Birmingham's Civil Rights District.

The Institute conducts a Teen Entrepreneurs 3.0 program to teach business skills to Birmingham City Schools 11th graders. In 2009 Starks opened an Urban Business Incubator in the Gaston Building, renting small office spaces to budding businesses with a shared conference room, wireless internet, and training and technical assistance. Discounts on renting the L. R. Hall Auditorium for business events are also provided to businesses using the incubator, which focuses on community-scale start-ups.



  • MacDonald, John A. (September 1, 2009) "Budding entrepreneurs to get a leg up through new incubator in downtown Birmingham." Birmingham News
  • Williams, Roy L. (May 1, 2010) "Birmingham business incubator fills up fast." Birmingham News