Happy September from the North Dakota Small Business Development Network (ND SBDC, ND PTAC, and VBOC of the Dakotas)! In our last update we focused internally by highlighting our wonderful team of advisors and professionals. This month we would like to share a little about our ND SBDC program partnerships with our association, America’s SBDC (ASBDC), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Part of the national Small Business Development Centers network, the ND SBDC has been in North Dakota since 1986 and has been located at the University of North Dakota the entire time, helping to grow small business in our state. We are proud to have been serving ND for almost 35 years!
Federal initiatives to help foster and grow small business in the U.S. have a long and strong history. Federal support for university-based business extension services like the SBDC Network can be traced to the 1940’s and the Small Business Administration was created in 1953 by Congress. For years, these extension services operated separately until coming together in 1979 to form the Association of Small Business Development Centers, whose name was later changed to America’s SBDC.
Today, the America’s Small Business Development Center Network, with roughly 1,000 full time service centers, operates with funding from the federal government through the SBA and matching dollars, both cash and in kind, from the program’s many funding partners, including state and local governments, institutions of higher learning, private enterprise and local nonprofit economic development organizations. The SBDC Network, of which we are a part, provides services to more clients annually than all other SBA programs combined.
In addition to funding partnerships, the ASBDC also ensures that each state’s SBDC meets the accreditation standards that have been developed and deployed in cooperation with SBA. Each SBDC goes through an accreditation review every five years by an ASBDC accreditation team, which produces a final report to be presented to the Accreditation Committee for voting.
Our network was reviewed in 2019 and passed with flying colors, being approved for accreditation without any conditions. The ND SBDC was particularly praised for our, “focused and determined attention to stabilize and strengthen the network since 2015.” The accreditation report went on to say that, “The efforts to standardize processes, to give transparency to operations and resource allocations, and to maintain regular communication and sharing of information with network staff and key stakeholders has improved the network relationships and partnerships.”
Every September we look forward to the annual America’s SBDC conference, which this year will be held virtually for the first time ever on September 29th & 30th, 2020. America’s SBDC will be providing 100+ high-quality, live and on-demand professional development workshops for SBDC professionals, along with live keynotes that will have many special speakers, guests, and giveaways. We are excited for the opportunity to reconnect with other SBDCs around the nation and are thankful for our partnerships that help us to better serve our clients, and you, our stakeholders, in the future
Our other network programs, the ND Procurement Technical Assistance Center (ND PTAC) and our Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC) of the Dakotas, have their own federal program partners. We invite you to learn about ND PTAC’s partnership with the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) and their federal funding partner the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). And for additional information on the partnership between our Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC) of the Dakotas visit SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD).
Tiffany Ford, State Director
And all the Staff of the ND Small Business Development Network