About

Founded at Coles College of Business Kennesaw State University

The Edge, originally founded as the Cobb Microenterprise Council, was created by a partnership of four local agencies:

  1. United Way of Cobb
  2. Cobb Family Resources
  3. Cobb County YWCA, and
  4. Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business.

Their purpose was to alleviate poverty in Cobb County by offering low to moderate-income residents a proven path to increase their income and financial security. Through micro-business training they helped the unemployed and underemployed launch businesses to create jobs for themselves and others.

Founded in 1998, The Edge is a non-profit entrepreneurial training center serving Georgia residents. We specialize in serving individuals seeking to launch, grow, or sustain a micro-business or a small-scale business with up to ten employees.

The Edge is the host organization to one of two Women’s Business Centers in the state of Georgia. In cooperation with the Small Business Administration (SBA), The Edge provides training, consultation, coaching, financial education, and community. Through partnerships, we offer human resources, employee benefits, and support of entrepreneurs.

The Edge and The Women’s Business Center helps entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality by giving them the tools and support needed to start and grow a profitable business.

Our History

1998 Founded and created, in partnership, between United Way of Cobb, Cobb Family Resources, Cobb County YWCA, and Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business.

The Cobb Micro-enterprise Council (now the EDGE Connection, Inc.) was hosted by Kennesaw State University Coles College of Business, on their main campus, for many years. The original mission and purpose of the organization was to alleviate poverty in Cobb County and to offer low to moderate-income residents of the county a proven path to increase their income and financial security. Through micro-business training, the partnership saw a way to help the unemployed and underemployed launch businesses to create jobs for themselves and others.

1999 | Jane Fonda Keynote’s 1st Business Plan Course Participants Graduation

Launched first micro-business planning course with 31 participants. Cobb Microenterprise Council celebrates its first graduation of 27 clients. Jane Fonda is the first keynote graduation speaker.

2000 | SBA Vision 2000 Models of Excellence Award

Presented to The Cobb Micro-enterprise Council (founding organization name) for small business development and the Partnership Excellence Award, presented by Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

2001 | Nonprofit Status Granted

The Cobb Microenterprise Council is rebranded as the Cobb Microenterprise Center and is awarded its 501(c)(3) status and its first SBA grant, the PRIME Grant, for $250,000.

2004 | SBA Women’s Business Center Opens, Sara Blakely, CEO/Founder of SPANX Keynotes

Awarded $150,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to operate a Women’s Business Center
Launch Keynote address from Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX, to an audience of over 330 supporters.

2005 | Expanded into 19 Georgia Counties

Cbeyond leads a rebrand of The Cobb Microenterprise Center becomes The EDGE Connection, Inc. The EDGE acronym stands for Empowering and Developing Georgia’s Entrepreneurs.

2006 | First Annual Fundraising Gala & Awards Event

Celebrates the first annual gala & awards fundraiser. Honored with an award from the Ms. Foundation in New York to provide learning clusters with other “best practice” organizations around the country.

2007 | Expanded Education Programs

Expands programs and services with classes and workshops targeting startups, including development of growth enterprises, access to capital through micro loan funds, SBA lending, procurement, and minority and women business certification

2008 | 10 Year Anniversary Celebrated

Expands programs and services with classes and workshops targeting startups, including development of growth enterprises, access to capital through micro loan funds, SBA lending, procurement, and minority and women business certification

2011 | DOL – Workforce Investment Act Training Site

Certified by the Department of Labor, Workforce Investment Act as a self-employment training site.

2012 |Home Depot Foundation Community Award

Honored with the Building Community Network Award from The Home Depot Foundation and the Georgia Center for Non-Profits.

2015 | New CEO, Rachel Davis at the Helm; Women’s Business Leadership Academy Launched

Launched the Purposeful Engaged And Resilient Leaders (PEARL) leadership development program with the support of founding members Southern Company, Lockheed Martin, Kennesaw State Coles College of Business, and Exhibits South.

2016 | ETSY Maker City & Micro Business Expo

In partnership with the City of Kennesaw named an ETSY Maker City and launched the first annual Maker & Micro Business Expo for the handmade seller business industry. Rachel Davis, CEO, Awarded Women In Business Champion of the Year by the SBA.

2017 | International Coaching Federation Partnership

Established partnership with the International Coaching Federation as the founding coaching Leadership training program for a 12 month women’s intensive academy.

2018 | We Made It! Twenty Years of Service to Our Community

It has been an interesting, challenging and wonderful adventure of resilience and fortitude. We stayed the course and found ways to meet the needs of our constituents in the face of challenges and victories.

2018-2021 | Resilience, Renewal, Resurgence

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