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Director Leaves UNCW Business And Tech Center For New Position

By Cece Nunn, posted Dec 6, 2016
Fran Scarlett
The Small Business & Technology Development Center hosted by UNCW's Cameron School of Business is looking for a new regional director.

Fran Scarlett, the previous director, left the position in November to become director of programs and services for the Institute of Nonprofit News, a nationwide network of investigative and public service news outlets.

Scarlett, who said she will continue to live in Wilmington and teach organizational entrepreneurship and management classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, joined the SBTDC in 2009.

"I loved my job at the SBTDC. I just had done it a while, so I was looking for a new challenge, and this opportunity came up," Scarlett said.

Bion Schulken, deputy state director of SBTDC, said the center has started the process of searching for a new regional director, and the job has been posted on UNCW's website

The SBTDC hosted by UNCW offers personalized business counseling and strategy development services in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, Columbus, Duplin and Onslow counties, according to its website. 

"On average in a year, we might see 400 clients, but the level of work we do with those would vary greatly," Scarlett said.

She said the center's target has been spending more than 40 percent of its resource time with clients that are mid-sized companies with 10 or more employees and more than $1 million in revenue.

In her new position, Scarlett, who has an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in mass communications from Boston University, will run INN training, coaching and services to help nonprofit news organizations. In addition to SBTDC, her previous work experience includes running a management consulting firm, Scarlett Ink Media, and creating and managing the custom publishing division of a major newspaper and Internet company.

"This was a perfect meld of my journalism experience and my entrepreneurial experience," Scarlett said of her INN job. "What I'm doing is, in essence, building the entrepreneurial capacity for a very specific industry ... I'm teaching them [journalists] how to be businesspeople."

Non-profit news organizations are one of the fastest-growing segments in new media, according to an INN announcement on Scarlett's hiring.

“Scarlett brings to INN -- and our members -- extensive experience as a strategy and business growth consultant, entrepreneur, journalist and news product developer. That makes her a powerful ally and resource for the mission-driven news organizations that are forging new ways to support public interest reporting,” said INN executive director and CEO Sue Cross, in the announcement.

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