In response to the America’s Small Business national branding initiative, and in recognition of the difficulty of branding/communicating verbally the “T” amidst the SBTDC, transitioned to the national brand, with a tagline indicating “technology commercialization accredited since 2002. The SBDC was awarded a second year of funding to assist the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in its delivery of Export Assistance. The SBDC now has twenty-three (23) consultants and regional directors either NASBITE certified or Small Business Administration (SBA) international trained certified.
The Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) launched in June of 2011 and the SBDC has been a integral partner to this program. The SBDC managed the PMBC online tool to connect business needs with business partners offering services at no-cost or low cost.
In 2013, the SBDC completed a second full year of Small Business Jobs Act (SBJA) deployment of nine SBDC Finance Strategists, raising $50million in capital for small businesses.
The SBDC supported the MEDC “State Trade Export Program” by offering numerous tools to help businesses expand their export initiatives – export milestone mapping, international search engine optimization assessments, and trade financing.
The SBDC was awarded $3.6 million over two years, to manage the Michigan Business Accelerator Fund, through 21st Century Jobs Funding from the State of Michigan.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded the Michigan SBDC funding to increase services to Native Americans throughout the state. The SBDC network also received funding to increase assistance in West Michigan to Hispanic owned businesses.
In 2012, the SBDC network was awarded two year funding through the Small Business Jobs Act (SBJA); brought onboard 9 Finance Strategists to specifically work on helping companies access financing – raised $50 million in impact
Client validation processes and procedures was implemented in 2012. All the Michigan SBDC impact is client verified prior to the impact of jobs created, jobs retained, business starts and capital formation is loaded into the SBDC client management system.
We launched the finance and strategy specialists team through SBA awarded Jobs Bill funding to respond to businesses struggling with their banking relationships. The Michigan SBDC was the first SBDC in the country to submit its proposal and deploy the program on the ground
The SBDC Growth Group (G2) was formed to prepare companies for the next stage of growth. This experienced group of professionals guides management as they evaluate and select strategies using a set of comprehensive business tools. The SBDC Manufacturing Assistance Team (MAT) was created in response to economic stress in the manufacturing sector. The team offers no-cost consulting to small and medium size Michigan manufacturers, including offering expertise in financial analysis, capital access, and strategic planning. We also established a partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, delivering statewide boot camp training for displaced workers wishing to be entrepreneurs.
The Michigan Legislature awarded the SBDC a second round of emerging technology funding as a result of its successful year one work. This second $1.4 million Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) provides state cash match to federal Small Business Innovate Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. Projects supported must advance one of Michigan’s four competitive edge technology areas: life sciences, alternative energy, advanced automotive/manufacturing and materials, or homeland security and defense. Program details can be found at www.mietf.org.
2007 was an extremely active year, serving a great mix of both new entrepreneurs and existing companies. Over 11,000 businesses were served throughout the 12-region/83-county area through one-to-one counseling and small business workshops. An increasing number of existing businesses were served, requiring more in depth services. The Michigan Legislature, at year end, awarded Michigan SBDC $1.4 million dollars, monies to be used to provide state cash match to federal Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. In 2007, the SBDC launched a virtual incubator, Accelerating Michigan Entrepreneurs (AME), in an effort to use technology to serve a greater number of small business owners in their desire to grow their existing companies. In 2007-2008 the SBDC immersed itself in the Balanced Scorecard process, creating an effective management system for the vast amount of services being provided for small businesses.
The MI-SBDC served 14,995 businesses through one-to-one counseling and business workshops. Fifty-one percent of businesses served were new ventures. Twenty-four percent of businesses served were minority owned. The Biz Resource Centers continue to be in demand with a statewide total of 28. The SBDC is proud to announce its full accreditation as a result of an extensive review at the end of 2006, a review that occurs every four years by the America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC). Launch of a Balanced Scorecard at the end of 2006, carried through in implementation in 2007, was used to model a national best practice by the Association at the National Conference in Denver Colorado. An outstanding rating was given in two specific areas of SBDC work: technology business assistance and statewide branding. The MI-SBDC competed for State of Michigan 1st Century Jobs Funding, and was awarded $2 million over 2 years to provide comprehensive business assistance for technology-based companies in Michigan. This funding was allocated for 2007-2008.
2003 – 2005
In 2003, Michigan became the second state to earn accreditation for its Small Business Development Center, MI-SBDC. In addition to serving Michigan’smain street businesses, the MI-SBDC also plays a major role in growing Michigan’s technology business base. The America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) re-accredited MI-SBDC’s operation in October 2002, a process mandated every three years by the SBA. As part of the accreditation process, the MI-SBDC also elected to be reviewed for and earned the SBDC designation, a title that until then had been held solely by North Carolina. The MI-SBDC offers services to benefit technology-based companies, including information technology, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and innovators. Those companies have access to four full- and part-time technology business consultants, whose roles include serving the primary needs of technology-based businesses in the areas of intellectual property, company management structure, and access to sources of capital. One of the key goals of the MI-SBDC is to help small businesses develop and commercialize pioneering technologies. The MI-SBDC continues to enhance its economic impact on an annual basis. In 2004, the MI-SBDC served 10,274 businesses and provided 56,809 hours of one-to-one counseling. The partnerships continue to grow and the program continues to flourish. The MI-SBDC is on the right track.
In 2001, Grand Valley State University’s Seidman School of Business, now College of Business, was named the new Michigan Small Business Development Center State Headquarters by the SBA in response to an open bidding process with Michigan’s higher education institutions. The move from Wayne State University marked the first time a federal program had placed its state headquarters in West Michigan. As host of the state headquarters, the Seidman College of Business at GVSU was charged with establishing, managing, and overseeing the MI-SBDC network of 12 regional offices and more than 30 satellite centers throughout Michigan, serving all 83 counties. The immediate focus was to strengthen the regional center infrastructure, develop new partnerships, and achieve designation statewide as a Small Business Development Center. In 2001, a partnership with Compaq and Microsoft allowed the MI-SBDC to develop ten Biz Resource Centers, mirrors of the three existing Business Information Centers in Michigan. These 13 centers provide newly formed entrepreneurial companies with all of the business startup information needed for a successful launch. The MI-SBDC was also successful in the formation of a strong, two-year partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to support the growth of technology-based companies.
The MI-SBDC West Michigan Region collaborated with the City of Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Center of West Michigan, and the Urban League to create the Kent Area MicroBusiness Loan Service in partnership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve, service organizations, and local business representatives. This model program was designed to extend financing to small businesses that do not qualify for bank loans.
In 1991, EXCEL (EXCELlence in Entrepreneurship), a nonprofit program developed by the Office of Women Business Ownership of the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, was launched to provide training and counseling for women-owned small businesses. This program operated from October of 1991 through October of 1995; Carol Lopucki was named Director. This program moved to Grand Valley State University at the end of 1995, and at that juncture, Wayne State University, the State Headquarters of the MI-SBDC, approached GVSU to evolve EXCEL into a regional MI-SBDC office to serve Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties. GVSU was honored to assume this leadership.