Accelerate New Iberia accepting applications for September program


The Louisiana Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the city of New Iberia are partnering to launch the Accelerate New Iberia program.

The program provides residents with the opportunity to start and/or grow a business.

The inaugural session of Accelerate New Iberia starts Sept. 6 and will take place on three consecutive Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The program includes three weeks of training, opportunities for mentorships with successful entrepreneurs, one-on-one consulting during and after the program, and connections to community resources.

Eligible Accelerate New Iberia applicants should be:

  • existing business owners seeking assistance with growth strategies; and
  • individuals who have a business idea or who want to turn a hobby or side job into a full-time business.

Applications must be received by Sept. 1, but walk-ups are welcome on Sept. 6 if space is available. There are only 20 seats in the program, so please get your application in as soon as possible. Valued at $450, participants are only responsible for the $25 program fee.
“I’m thrilled to partner with the LEED Center and UL Lafayette to explore exciting business opportunities within the West End,” said Freddie DeCourt, New Iberia mayor. “Our focus on small-scale economic development will fortify our community and foster the emergence of fresh local entrepreneurs.”

Dr. Geoffrey Stewart, director of LEED and the Moody Company/BORSF Endowed Chair in Regional Business Development at UL Lafayette, said: “The LEED Center and the Moody College of Business at UL Lafayette is excited to partner with the city of New Iberia. While capital projects along the Teche and in other parts of the city are reshaping its landscape, there is a tremendous opportunity to build on the tradition of innovation (food, literary, arts, agriculture, IT, energy, manufacturing, etc.) and to create growth across the city. At the LEED Center, we believe that entrepreneurship is a means for citizens, all citizens, to take control of their personal financial future and to also make significant contributions to their community.”

LEED’s Accelerate programs, a start-up and small business program that began with Accelerate Northside in 2021, helps entrepreneurs who are economically disadvantaged create and/or grow their own businesses. LEED has hosted five Accelerate Northside program cohorts, five Accelerate program cohorts in rural Acadiana parishes, and one Accelerate Women’s Entrepreneur program cohort in the past 30 months. In total, more than 375 existing and aspiring business owners have completed the six-session program and more than 80 new companies have been established.

For more information and the online application, visit