Educational Programs


Small Business Development Center courses, seminars, and conferences provide up-to-date, practical information on a wide variety of business topics and are designed to educate entrepreneurs about new and innovative management procedures.

Our programs teach basic business skills as well as more advanced and specific business management. These low-cost workshops feature experts and leaders from industry, government, higher education, and professional associations.

Listed below are SBDC educational programs. They are open to the public, but registration is required unless otherwise noted.

The First Step

Each month, the SBDC holds a seminar on how to start a business, which serves as an introduction to developing your business and to the services offered by the SBDC. People considering opening or buying a business are strongly encouraged to attend. Seminars are normally held on the third Tuesday evening of each month.

Virtual seminars will be held until further notice. You must pre-register in order to receive access information.

2021 Dates: May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16, December 21

On-Demand Webinars for Entrepreneurs

The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers, through grant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, has released a series of four on-demand webinars for entrepreneurs. The webinars, titled “The Cloud,” “New Markets-New Opportunities,” “Business Continuity Planning,” and “Marketing Your Business Online,” vary in duration from 16 to 29 minutes each. The webinars can be watched online and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Viewers must register in order to watch the series. Below is a description of each webinar.

The Cloud—Embracing the Future of Business

(16 minutes) Hear about the benefits and complexities of backing your data on the cloud, selecting the cloud service most pertinent for your business's operations, and considerations when shopping for a cloud provider.

New Markets—New Opportunities

(19 minutes) Get the specifics of entering international, government, and online markets.

Business Continuity Planning

(19 minutes) Learn the process of identifying potential business interruptions and ways of mitigating them in order for your business to remain productive at all times.

Marketing Your Business Online

(26 minutes) Watch a detailed overview of establishing your business's online presence, including the concepts of building your website, search engine optimization, and social media marketing and its platforms.

Additional Business Courses

As any entrepreneur knows, there is a lot to do when starting a business: selling products, hiring employees, keeping proper records, and more. To help owners of new companies learn the many skills that are involved in running a successful business, the SBDC offers a series of educational courses specifically designed for new businesses. Workshops for new small businesses are offered in six key areas:

  • Business Management and Operations
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Legal Issues
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Record-keeping, Accounting, and Taxes

Within each topic area, a number of different workshops are offered throughout the year so that business owners can choose the workshop best suited to the needs and goals of their particular company. Led by experts in their fields, successful small business owners, skilled SBDC staff, and professionals such as accountants and tax specialists. These educational offerings help small business owners tackle many of the issues that will come up in the first few years of operation and growth.

To check for upcoming seminars that may be of interest, go to the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center website, which has a searchable database. We also offer a large number of free online mini-courses on these subjects.