The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network counseled almost 5,000 clients, trained more than 7,000 and helped bring $49 million in grants, loans and investments into the Wisconsin economy in 2011. Services are provided through 12 centers and three specialty centers staffed and managed by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and located around the state on four year campuses in the UW System.
“We see opportunities to assist in job creation in advanced manufacturing, health care and medical devices, agriculture, construction, professional and technical services and tourism,” said Gayle Kugler, state director of the SBDC, http://www.wisconsinsbdc.org, which is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, with matching funds from UW System.
Counseling includes assistance such as developing business plans, honing market strategies and analyzing financial statements before investor presentations. Counselors are people like Ronald “Bud” Gayhart on the UW-Whitewater campus, and clients are people like Tyler Sailsbery, a student who turned his class project idea into NoMoreDorms.com, a successful student-housing locator company.
“Bud Gayhart has been an asset and mentor since conception of this idea,” said Sailsbery, who already is working with the SBDC on another business concept.
Freshpaint Digital and Cineviz owner Scott Koffarnus of Green Bay is among the thousands who benefitted from SBDC training.
“We went through the entrepreneurial program, which helped in writing the business plan,” said Koffarnus, who also praised business counselor Chuck Brys on the UW-Green Bay campus for advice on expanding.
With SBDC assistance, clients completed 120 business plans and started 230 businesses in 2011. The full report is available at: http://bit.ly/I798X5