The Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship (TFCE) management recognizes the correlation between economic development and entrepreneurship and therefore is committed to entrepreneurship education and to entrepreneurial development. Its ambition is to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking amongst the UNCP student body as well as assist and support entrepreneurs and new ventures in the Southeastern North Carolina Region. As a consequence, the mission of the TFCE is focused on education, research, planning and community engagement.
The main goal behind the establishment of the Office of Economic and Business Research (EBR) is to help speed up the regional economic progress. One of the functions of EBR is to publish, interpret and forecast the regional economic conditions on the EBR website. These publications have two main groups of audience: Local area businesses and new firms that are relocating to the region. In this case, we cooperate with the Office of Outreach and Southeast Data Center. Since North Carolina's Southeast Data Center publishes Regional Data Book which presents presents partial regional economic picture, our publications are designed so that these corroborate the Regional Data Book.
Another very important function of the EBR is to involve the UNCP School of Business faculty in providing expertise to the regional businesses. In this role, the EBR provides guidance to the interested faculty in secring grants and conducting research geared towards regional economic development.
The Medical Tourism Research Center focuses on consumers who travel from the United States to other countries for medical services -- the import side of medical tourism. This is a phenomenon that has grown rapidly in the last few years. There have always been foreign patients who come to the United States for the most recent medical techiques at the best American hospitals -- the export side of medical tourism. There are a growing number of American patients who shop around for medical care within the United States -- intranational medical tourism.