Small Business Development Center: History & Purpose

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a program provided by the U.S. government to support individuals who want to own their own business. The SBDC provides many helpful resources to assist business owners. These resources are discussed in this lesson.

What is the Small Business Development Center?

The Small Business Development Center is a service provided by the U.S. government to offer free support and guidance for potential and new entrepreneurs. Offices are available around the nation and they offer a wide variety of resources for small business owners, including business consulting, market research, disaster assistance, and financing options.

History of the Small Business Development Center

The first Small Business Development Center (SBDC) opened nearly 40 years ago. The first office was located in Pomona, CA. Over time, centers have expanded into other states and are often found on university campuses. As of 2015, there were over 1,000 centers across America that aid over 1 million entrepreneurs yearly ( The centers are funded by the Small Business Association, state and federal government aid, and private sector donations.

Purpose of the Small Business Development Center

The SBDC was created to provide support for individuals who want to open their own business. Because there are so many hats a business owner must wear, the SBDC offers training, information, and resources that help an entrepreneur prepare to own a business and organize their company. This support helps to improve the chances the business will be successful and have the financial, tangible, and intangible resources it needs.

Business Consulting

Do you have questions about opening a business? Are you working on a business plan and need help? No problem. The SBDC offers business consulting. A qualified coach can answer your questions and provide helpful suggestions at all phases of developing your organization. The coach can help answer a wide variety of questions, including funding options and market research. This person can be a great resource as you are considering entering the world of business ownership and managing your own company.

Market Research

Don't underestimate the value of market research. This data can help you understand the size of your potential market, your competitors, the demand for your product or services, and plenty of other critical information. By gathering and reviewing market research, you can make informed decisions and have information that helps you understand how consumers may respond to your new offerings.

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