Who would have thought that an idea in 1975 by a former Dean of the University of Georgia would flourish into a national network of over 1,000 service centers… with the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center being one of the very first SBDC pilot programs in 1977.
Today, the UGA SBDC has assisted over 500,000 small business owners in Georgia and has greatly contributed to UGA’s economic impact on the state of Georgia.
Whether a business is just starting out or is already established, the UGA SBDC provides the tools, education and resources to help businesses build their businesses to withstand the test of time.
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY: ROTORCORP
With the help of the UGA SBDC International Trade Center with financial assistance and education of an exporting tax-filing status, Rotorcorp, was able to double their growth from 2016 to 2017 and now serves more than 1,000 customers in 45 countries.
“I really look back over the last 3 years since our relationship began and I can now see that that relationship has served as a touchstone for most of our growth.” Sean Casey, Co-Owner, Rotorcorp
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 year-in and year-out to bring innovative services to the market that will help our clients reach their business goals through our no-cost consulting services.
The education we provide, through both our consulting services and our low-cost continuing business education, 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.
Hence why the UGA SBDC has earned the respect of our clients and stakeholders and have been designated as one of Georgia’s top providers of small business assistance.
Learn to analyze and manage your business like a seasoned CEO, create a framework to improve the performance of your business, and shape the success of your business for years to come. Work ON your business, not just IN your business!
Digital Marketing Bootcamp is an interactive workshop with multiple sessions where small business owners will learn how to apply effective tactics to build their digital brand, expand their market, and acquire new customers.
Owning your own business is the American dream. Building it to withstand the test of time requires a unique set of tools. SBDC StartSmart™ provides the resources, support, and motivation to put your dream within reach.
Learn how to find profitable export markets, develop distribution channels, understand foreign and U.S. regulatory issues, pricing and costing company products, how to submit international quotations, process accounts receivable and recognize legal and cultural considerations.
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY: HONEYSUCKLE GELATO
With the help of the UGA SBDC, Honeysuckle Gelato was able to grow sales by over 800%, add 10 full-time and 15 part-time staff members, open a retail shop, have secured lucrative commercial contracts, including Whole Foods and Delta Airlines, and continue to work with the SBDC as they expand both nationally and internationally.
“Being accountable to someone else is really important. That has allowed us to take the time to be intentional about our business. Our work with the SBDC has taught us how to make sure we’re asking ourselves the right questions and that we’re positioned to act on everything we put on paper.” Wes Jones, Co-Owner, Honeysuckle Gelato
With 17 offices ranging from Rome to Valdosta to serve the needs of Georgia’s business community, our network of partners has helped construct a statewide ecosystem since 1977 to foster the spirit, support, and success of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators.
The UGA Small Business Development Center is a Public Service and Outreach unit of the University of Georgia and 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.
“It’s good to have a person like David [Lewis] who can advise us. Whenever we get a new idea for our business, we sit down and review different scenarios. He knows what works and what doesn’t work, and our results have been very positive.”
Suganda “Sugar” and Chandra Yadav,Woodbine Grocery
“Many people start out thinking ‘I’ve got a great business idea! I know how to bake a cake or create a website.’ But it’s not just that. How will you pay people? How do you manage your financing and relationships? How do you get people to find your website? That’s where the SBDC comes into play. They have a lot of experience. They’re like a coach in your corner."
Adam and Karen Sheperd,Sheer Imagination
“I found out about the SBDC after I went to a couple of different banks. They said ‘your numbers look good, but they could look a lot better, so go talk to these guys.’ I did and came back with the complete package."
Doug Turbush,Seed Kitchen and Bar
“I had no small business experience before. I am a speech pathologist and my husband is a marine engineer. We took the SBDC’s GrowSmart program, then started going to the SBDC’s free business consultations, and it was awesome. It still is!”
Samantha Meier,Savannah Slow Ride
“I thought I was doing great, having written a four-page business plan. But it was a joke. After [SBDC consultant] Carol [McDonell] finished advising me, I ended up with a 45-page plan.”
Amanda Rodriguez Crook,Pawtropolis
“People don’t understand how large this industry is. It will continue to grow as parking density and security needs increase. We expect the SBDC will continue to help us manage this dynamic change. They’ll help us focus on specific opportunities and maximize our presence in the marketplace.”
Lois and Mike Givens,ITR
“The SBDC’s exprienced, knowledeable team can talk the nitty-gritty of commercialization. They helped carry IS3D from idea to a produt for the marketplace.”
Dr. Tom Robertson,Interactive Science in 3D (IS3D)
“Janelle and I are both in our 20s and have had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way, which is expensive,” he continues. “The SBDC can help you refine your vi- sion and work to make it happen.”
Kyle and Janelle Wehner,Dreaming Cow
“Jeff [Sanford] provided an educational experience I will carry with me for years to come. If it had not been for his efforts in the classroom and the field, I would not be where I am today.”
Dr. Dan Carter, DVM,Countryside Hospital for Animals
“David [Dunn] is great,” says Hardy. I’ve already recommended him to several entrepreneurs, and he’s helped put together several of their plans. Everyone in that office is real helpful. And every time I’ve had a ground breaking or ribbon cutting, they come celebrate with us.”
Hugh Hardy Jr.,Carroll’s Sausage & Meats
“For me, it was not only beneficial, but vital to develop this relationship with Erica [Bracey] and the SBDC. I won’t go through this process again without her help in making sure I have everything in line.”
Leela Barney,Morrow Clinic for Caduceus Occupational Medicine LLC
“I was not originally approved on the financial data I had. The industry was unheard of and lenders said it wouldn’t work,” says Lebedin. “Darrel [Hulsey] developed the financial models and spreadsheets that banks were used to looking at. I fed him the information he needed, he entered it into his model, and we eventually found a bank that could provide us financial assistance.”
Jeff Lebedin,Aqua Recycle
“I will keep going back to Mark [Lupo] and the SBDC. The things he and the SBDC do help me dig deep roots. They’ve been really good to me.”
“We knew all we needed to know as domestic distributors, but we had no direct knowledge of the foreign customer,” says Nut Tree Pecan’s Francis “Putt” Wetherbee, who attended the Georgia SBDC’s ExportGA class and found “it was a great experience.”
Francis “Putt” Wetherbee,Nut Tree Pecan, Inc.
The SBDC helped me strengthen the business plan and put together the loan packet for the construction of our 9,500 square foot building designed just for children. We received an SBA loan and moved there in June of 2008.
Janie Davis,Children Unique Christian Daycare Center, Inc.
We believe in relationship building and smooth, steady progress,” says Hester. “From the moment we met Bob and Sharon, we were very impressed. They share our values, and the things we believe about business just lined up perfectly.
Mary Hester,LAN Systems
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.