Source: Brainerd Dispatch August 8, 2013
Minnesota’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network is shaping the future of small business in Minnesota.
The SBDC annual report for 2012 highlights that success: over 3,000 businesses served, 8,000 jobs created and access to $125 million in new capital to help Minnesota small businesses grow.
The SBDC network, positioned within the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), provides professional expertise and guidance to small businesses in Minnesota.
“Small businesses, which account for half of our private sector jobs in Minnesota, help drive the state’s economy,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben in a news release. “For entrepreneurs hoping to start and grow a small business, the SBDCs are a great resource in today’s competitive and ever-changing business world.”
Nine SBDCs, located throughout the state, provide localized business services that include business consulting, training and access to capital. The centers are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBDC funding also comes from state sources, institutions of higher education, nonprofit agencies and private investors.
“The SBDCs are a perfect example of a successful public-private partnership,” said SBDC State Director Bruce Strong. “Partner involvement and support is crucial to our new focus areas and the creation or retention of more than 8,000 jobs. We also had our third-highest year in business capital raised, making 2012 an exciting, successful year.”
The SBDC focused on serving veterans, youth and struggling businesses in 2012, according to the report.
Working with several partners, the SBDC provided outreach to thousands of veterans and family members through job fairs, panel discussions and training opportunities. They provided more than 40 scholarships to veterans interested in entrepreneurship for high-level financial literacy training.
In the area of youth entrepreneurship, the SBDC offered business startup training programs to more than 500 students throughout the state. Training and discussion on credit, financial literacy and the importance of planning were included in all youth entrepreneurship programs.
The Turn-Around Program for struggling businesses helped those businesses to refinance debt or obtain more than $28.5 million in new credit to stabilize their company, stay in business and retain more than 700 jobs. More than 100 businesses are participating in the Turn-Around Program.
The SBDC helped businesses increase Minnesota exports to other countries; 2012 was a record-setting year with 200 new businesses exporting globally, helping to set the pace at $20.6 billion in exports around the world.