Spreading the Word: The Role of the SBDC

Posted on 8/2/2016 1:33:03 PM

Personnel from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) recently made three separate presentations on innovation, entrepreneurship, economic development, and business development to spread the word about the role of the SBDC in the economy.

They were:

  • “Creating the Future: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Management, and You” to the Global Academy in Business Leadership (a group of 27 students from India on a summer study tour)
  • “Leverage Your Business Financing,” a small business workshop put on by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board of Pittsburgh
  • “Fueling the Entrepreneurial Spirit—The Work of the SBDC” to the Indiana Evening Rotary

Even though business closings command our attention and make us feel the sky is falling, it is part of a process we refer to as churning. Technology advances and disruptions occur. In the SBDC we used to say we are not looking for a genius who is 15 years ahead of his time, but one who was 15 minutes ahead. The future, however, approaches more rapidly than ever before. Vision, entrepreneurship, and innovative, out-of-the-box thinking are now viewed more favorably, as what used to be long-term vision has become a short-term vision.

As some businesses close, others are started. Our contention is that, to a certain extent, the health of an economy is more reflected in its rate of business starts than in its closures. Start-ups and growth businesses are where the new jobs come from. Historically, the rate of closings had been around 6 percent, and now it has moved up to approximately 10 percent. The churn has become more pronounced. This is the space in which the SBDC works, helping entrepreneurs give birth to the future.