Florida Empowers Entrepreneurs to Succeed; Celebrating National Entrepreneurship Month

FSBDCN State Office: National Entrepreneurship Month, proclaimed by President Barack Obama, is a time for Americans to celebrate entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are the foundation for economic growth and prosperity, and the men and women who take the risks, work hard, and deliver innovation and creativity deserve to our support and recognition.

“The entrepreneurial spirit has always been at the heart of our Nation's story. With inventions that changed American life and startups that lifted our economy as they grew, entrepreneurs helped make our country what it is today,” said President Barack Obama in his proclamation. “During National Entrepreneurship Month, we celebrate America's innovators, support small businesses, and empower entrepreneurs to turn their visions into reality.”

Florida Entrepreneurship on the Rise

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor United States 2012 report, entrepreneurial activity level for nascent, new and established businesses in Florida is above the national average, 17 percent compared to 13 percent. Florida is distinguished by its positive assessment of capabilities at 64 percent compared to the national average of 56 percent, lower than average fear of failure 26 percent compared to the national average of 32 percent, and a greater optimism and more confidence in their abilities to start and succeed in an enterprise.

With entrepreneurship on the rise, it is more important than ever for entrepreneurs to receive the assistance they need to grow their ideas into successful businesses. As Florida’s principal provider of business assistance [§ 288.001 Fla. Stat.], the Florida SBDC Network has more than 125 professional certified business consultants statewide who work with entrepreneurs at every stage of growth to ensure they have the critical knowledge, data, and tools they need to make smart business decisions.

“Entrepreneurship must be encouraged and supported,” said Michael Myhre, State Director (Interim) for the Florida SBDC Network. “The Florida SBDC Network is committed to ensuring that entrepreneurs see their greatest potential in Florida and receive the tools and professional expertise they need to make their dreams a reality.”

We are proud to celebrate the following sampling of clients whose efforts represent the true spirit of American entrepreneurship:

GB Painting

An entrepreneurial couple, John and Dawn Rampino, bought a small, one house at a time, painting company in 2008, GB Painting, Inc. With the help of the FSBDC at UCF certified business consultant, this year, the company is looking forward to exceeding $10 million in sales, they added 13 new employees and expanded their presence in the South Florida and Tampa markets. Read full story.

Law Offices of Kate Mesic, PA

Attorney Kate Mesic’s parents immigrated to the United States from Russia when she was just 15 years old so Kate and her sister could have the chance at a better life in America. She learned quickly that in order to be successful in this country and in life, she had to become a leader, and that’s just what she did. She mastered the English language, graduated from law school, served as Assistant State Attorney in Marion County, and in February 2011, she took what she describes as a “leap of faith” and started her own practice, the Law Offices of Kate Mesic, PA. After starting her practice, Kate recognized she had no experience with starting and running a business, so she immediately sought out mentors, one being Cathy Hagan, a certified business consultant at the FSBDC at UNF, who assisted her with financial projections, diversifying revenue streams by expanding into additional areas of law, marketing and networking.
Read full story.

Impact Industrial Supplies, Inc.

John Diaz is a Hispanic entrepreneur, owner of Impact Industrial Supplies, Inc., an industrial supplier, merchant wholesaler, and supply chain management company that celebrated its 22nd anniversary in 2013 with a positive outlook and a strong history. Impact has 16 employees and closed 2012 with sales of $6.4 million. John has received more than 1,060 hours of consulting services and training from the FSBDC at USF. Read full story.

Bishop’s Coffee and Tea

Tionna Bishop initially sought professional consultation from the FSBDC at UWF in 2007 when she opened her first Bishop’s Coffee and Tea shop in Mary Esther. Moving into another geographical market and different distribution, she again sought out the FSBDC with equally good results. She now has a new shop in Pensacola and distribution through the four Gulf Coast Fresh Markets. Tionna said, “I don’t know what I would do without the SBDC and Sharon’s guidance.” Read full story.

About the FSBDC Network

For over 35 years, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state.

In 2012, the Florida SBDCs served approximately 38,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 47,845 jobs created, retained and saved at a significantly low cost of $112 per job; $6.3 billion in sales growth; $235.2 million in capital accessed; $588.4 million in government contract awards; and 744 new businesses started. For every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in the FSBDC program, $40 was returned to the state in tax revenue.

A statewide service network of 40 centers with 60 outreach locations, the Florida SBDC Network is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the Network's designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is state designated as Florida's principal provider of business assistance and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.