Jacksonville Scales Up Entrepreneurial Support Thanks to SBA Contract

The University of North Florida won a five-year contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration, totaling nearly $1.6 million to help fund a new program, ScaleUp America, designed to create jobs, increase sales and provide access to additional capital for business development.

(L-R) Janice Donaldson, FSBDC at UNF; Clare Dreyer, FSBDC at UNF; Marice Hague, FSBDC at UNF; Veronica Wallace, SBA North Florida District Office; Nayana Sen, SBA North Florida District Office

As a designated ScaleUp America community, one of only eight nationwide, the FSBDC at UNF and the Jacksonville metropolitan area will have a new support system to assist high-potential entrepreneurs and growth-oriented small business owners.

The FSBDC at UNF will administer ScaleUp North Florida and the independent program will deliver entrepreneurship education, management support, access to capital and connections to companies in business at least three years with between $150,000 and $500,000 in sales. More than 17,000 companies in the Jacksonville metropolitan statistical area report annual sales in this range. Historically, these Stage 1 companies grow at a slower pace than new start-ups and Stage 2 companies, particularly in sales and job growth.

ScaleUp North Florida will focus on growth-oriented and high-potential business owners and assist them to scale their business; connect to available resources; access growth capital; lead their peers, employees and communities; expand their firms; undertake transformative change; and profit from the experience.

“A key component of ScaleUp North Florida will be delivery of an innovative entrepreneurial education customized to the needs of our Stage 1 companies,” said Janice Donaldson, UNF’s principle investigator on the project and regional director of the FSBDC at UNF. “Recognized experts will deliver 24 hours of proven, existing curriculum focused on strategic planning, financial management, human resource management, leadership, marketing and brand strategy development.”

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