College of Agriculture
Under the Rural Business Service (RBS) 1890 Land-Grant Institution Rural Entrepreneurial Program Outreach Initiative, Virginia State University received funding from USDA and entered into a cooperative agreement with RBS to develop a program to improve the operations of potential and existing businesses through technical assistance and business management training.
The overall goal of this program is to provide current and potential business owners in selected rural and impoverished communities with opportunities to gain entrepreneurial, business management and information technology skills that will enable them to start, own and operate a profitable business successfully.
The project area of the program is Brunswick, Halifax, Lunenburg and Dinwiddie counties. Each of these counties is characterized by significant poverty, high unemployment, and limited educational achievement.
With the addition of the Mobile Computer Technology Lab, the program has the facility to assist individuals in developing basic and applied computer skills. The mobile computer lab is a self-contained unit that can travel directly to rural underserved areas, link directly to the Internet via two-way satellite, and open doors to the community residents to learn how to use business planning software to develop a business plan and the Internet to access business and economic information to meet their needs. Twelve workstations, plus an instructor's terminal, are located in the mobile lab. Video and computer projection is also built into the facility for instruction.