Funded in 1976 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Florida SBDC Network, one of eight original SBDC pilot programs, successfully links the state’s education system with community outreach to aid in the development and education of the state’s entrepreneurs and small business community.
Starting with only two service centers in the first year of operation, the Florida SBDC Network has grown to a statewide network of more than 40 centers involving universities, colleges and other economic development partner organizations. Additional outreach is provided at approximately 50 circuit rider locations utilizing resource partners such as chambers of commerce, economic development councils, banks, etc. Today, the Florida SBDC Network is one of 62 SBA-funded SBDC programs, with locations in every state and U.S. territory.
State designated as Florida’s Principal Provider of Business Assistance [§ 288.001, Fla. Stat.], the Florida SBDC Network is the only statewide provider of entrepreneurial services and plays a vital role in Florida’s economic development initiatives by:
- Assisting entrepreneurs in every stage of the business cycle, from prospective entrepreneurs to mature businesses looking for growth opportunities and more;
- Working with firms in all industry sectors; utilizing the expertise and resources of some of the best colleges and universities in Florida;
- Accessing the resources of a national network of more than 5,000 professional business consultants; and
- Accrediting nationally through the Association of SBDCs by Congressional mandate.
The synergistic effect of this partnership program has resulted in many years of positive revenue growth for the state, an impressive Florida SBDC Network return on investment and multiplied success for Florida’s small business community. The foundation of Florida’s economy is 99% small business – the Florida SBDC Network serves as their primary provider of business assistance.