UH SBDC Holds Reception for Silver Anniversary
The University of Houston Small Business Development Center (UH SBDC) Network celebrated its 25th anniversary in October with a special reception at its Midtown Houston region office alongside friends, clients and dignitaries. With an attendance of more than 350, the event marked the significant impact the UH SBDC Network has had in creating jobs, saving jobs and obtaining small business start-up and expansion capital.
Houston’s economy has also grown in the 25 years that the UH SBDC Network has been in existence, transitioning into a vibrant combination of major energy industry players, a growing technology sector, a world-renowned medical center and a focus on space science research with the presence of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Established in 1984, the UH SBDC Network has grown alongside the City of Houston, from a center that served just over 1,000 consulting clients and training attendees in its first year of operation to a network of 15 centers, serving 32 Southeast Texas counties and providing assistance to 13,000 entrepreneurs and small business customers in the past year.
But the number of centers and customers only reflects the scope and reach of the Network’s operation. The more telling statistics, from the annual impact studies, are that in the last three years, the UH SBDC Network helped clients access over $453 million in capital and create and retain over 20,000 jobs, which reflects a major impact on the Houston-area economy.
In celebration of its silver anniversary, the UH SBDC Network has held a series of events aimed at engaging the small business community. Over a period of three months, the UH SBDC Network hosted a free networking series called Fusion Fridays, merging education with networking giving participants the opportunity to mingle with some of Houston’s brightest business owners. Approximately 500 attendees met and networked with other business owners in an effort to gain leads, increase awareness of their business and make contacts.
The SBDC Network has also created a series of $25 classes offered through December 2009 aimed at broadening business knowledge. Courses include: Starting a Business, Business Plan Basics, Making Sense of the Numbers, Creating a Marketing Plan. Register at www.sbdc.uh.edu.
If you are an entrepreneur and need assistance in creating actionable business plans, preparing loan packages, managing business expansion and securing financing or evaluating and improving marketing techniques call 713.752.8400, or visit www.sbdc.uh.edu to find out how the UH SBDC Network can help you achieve success.
By Kimberly Smith