The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as one of Georgia’s top providers of small business assistance, the SBDC has 17 offices ranging from Rome to Valdosta to serve the needs of Georgia’s business community. Since 1976, our network of partners has helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the spirit, support, and success of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators.
The Small Business Development Center, a Public Service and Outreach Extension of The University of Georgia, is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.
The SBDC’s mission is to enhance the economic well-being of Georgians by providing a wide range of educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Our vision is to be recognized for excellence and championed by clients and stakeholders.
Be authentic: We value honesty and integrity above all else. These values will apply to everyone with whom we interact and to whom we are obliged. We aim to earn the respect of our clients and stakeholders and to be known as “trusted advisors.”
Deliver Quality: Our greatest assets are the competency, knowledge and professionalism of our workforce. With strict employment qualifications and internal training standards, the Georgia SBDC Network earns the reputation of a “credible resource.”
Exude Passion: Life as a member of the UGA SBDC team is truly a calling, as it is our ambition to help others. We continue to challenge ourselves to bring innovative services to the market that will help our clients reach their goals. We seek personal growth and fulfillment in serving others and aiding in their success.
Make a Difference: The education we provide shows positive impacts at the business level and at the level of the state economy. As a public service, we must ensure that we are working to meet the needs of the Small Business market within the framework of our national origins as set by the U.S. Congress, as well as within our own mission, vision, and these values.
Dr. William C. Flewellen, former dean of The University of Georgia College of Business Administration, is primarily responsible for the establishment of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) not only on The University of Georgia campus, but on university campuses across the nation.
The concept for the SBDC program originated when Dr. Flewellen and Reed Powell, dean of the School of Business at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona were serving on the national advisory council of the Small Business Administration (SBA). The concept was simple: extend university-based knowledge to the small business sector similar to the Agriculture Extension Service.
In 1976, the SBA allocated some of its own monies to fund eight pilot programs, one being at The University of Georgia. The success of these pilot programs paved the way for federal funding. Senator Sam Nunn and others provided federal legislative support, and in 1980 President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Small Business Development Center Act. In Georgia, Representative Lauren (Bubba) McDonald championed the SBDC concept.
A resolution was passed in January of 1977 by the Georgia General Assembly that directed the Board of Regents to establish The University of Georgia as the coordinating agency for the SBDC. The resolution also permitted the state to fund the SBDC program.
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