By Gracious Egedegbe and Maria Resham
On March 22, 2017, business owners, entrepreneurs and consultants met in Cincinnati to celebrate the national SBDC day. It was an event organized by the Ohio development Services Agency alongside the Small Business Development Center at Cincinnati Urban to celebrate the SBDC program. Highlights at the program were the numerous successes of the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).
Charlotte Harris, Director of the Small Business Development Center at Cincinnati Urban League, welcomed the group. The SBDC at Cincinnati Urban League offers: One-on-one business counseling, workshops and training programs, financial projection forecasting, identifying sources of capital, market feasibility and research, marketing strategy development, and strategic business planning.
Daryl Hennessy from the Chief Business Services Division, Ohio Development Services Agency delivered the keynote address. Participants included Small business owners, entrepreneurs, other stakeholders in the industry and members of the general public.
SBDCs are a program that is designed to help entrepreneurs and businessmen excel either in business as a producer or in service delivery. It is an initiative of the Ohio Development Services Agency and has recorded so many successes that currently Ohio is ranked amongst the top 10 states in the country.
What this means for you as businessmen is that interacting with the SBDC will afford you access to sound business guidelines that are tested and trusted. The motivation for this program is based on the commitment of the Ohio Development Services Agency to provide a suitable climate for entrepreneurs to grow their small businesses. The agency, amongst others, aims to facilitate innovation, increase revenue and improve management.
At the event, the many successes of the SBDC program was highlighted. In 2016 alone, over one hundred thousand businesses were created and nurtured. That is almost 300 new businesses per day! In 2016 alone, the SBDCs have advised almost eight thousand businesses, trained over twelve thousand entrepreneurs with time dedicated to consulting services totaling over fifty-four thousand hours.
Business owners and entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the numerous services offered by the SBDCs and used them to their advantage. At the event, it was revealed that 46% of beneficiaries were women. This means that the Agency recognizes the importance of women. Even more, it recorded more than 34% of the minority population and 8.3% are veteran.
The result: The SBDC recorded $213 million new sales and acquired $130 million in investment (debt and equity). With a score of 96.2%, the SBDC surpassed the private sector in customer satisfaction, exceeding the benchmark by 20 points. The program also boasts of a +76 net promoter score.
At the SBDCs, you can get quality, in-depth confidential consulting at no cost. All you have to do is walk into the SBDC nearest to you. The Ohio Development Service Agency also offers other business related services that could be relevant to you. Some of these services include minority business assistance centers, procurement technical assistance centers, entrepreneurial signature program, manufacturing extension partnership and export assistance.
To learn more visit: https://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_sbdc.htm