Emily Carter

State Director

I love working with small business owners who, despite the risks, commit themselves to building their own company. And the people here at CTSBDC get that. We appreciate what it’s like to open every day, make payroll, face difficulties. You can be an entrepreneur doing what you love and we’ll help you every step of the way.

A creative force of positive, focused energy, State Director Emily Carter ensures Connecticut’s small businesses receive the most effective, strategic guidance to success possible.

Drawn by the challenge, Emily joined and rebuilt CTSBDC from the ground up in 2013, hiring new staff and forging a cohesive network with legislators, government officials, University of Connecticut and other small business advocates across Connecticut. Based in Storrs, she manages all CTSBDC initiatives including services, outreach, facilitation, delivery and program compliance. Emily is most passionate about helping clients achieve their goals as well as the diverse, go-getter team she’s assembled—smart, professional and supportive of one another, they invest heart and mind to champion small business owners statewide.

Small business is in Emily’s blood. Her grandfather owned a Main Street florist shop and her dad committed all—selling house and cars—to build a profitable five-store, four-state Pier I franchise where she worked growing up. Later, while earning her MBA, Emily became center director of the Illinois SBDC at Shawnee Community College after working part-time as an advisor at the Illinois SBDC at Southern Illinois University.  She then returned to the family business to boost her hands-on experience and gain invaluable management expertise in the private sector. When the franchise sold in 1995 she joined the Illinois Office of Economic and Regional Development at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). From a part-time position, Emily advanced to Director of Entrepreneurship and Business Development, overseeing multiple programs across 20 counties, including the regional SBDC.

Emily earned her BS in Marketing and MBA degrees from SIUC. She’s certified as an Incubator Manager through the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), and speaks at many national, regional and local forums including the America’s SBDC and NBIA conferences. Emily loves living in rural Connecticut with her family and enjoys exploring New England.

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