ND Small Business Development Centers
ND Small Business Development Centers

Powering the creation, growth, and success of small business in North Dakota.

May 2022


Each May the ND SBDC holds a Stakeholder Summit to bring together partners from across the state to discuss small business in North Dakota. We look forward to these meetings each year as they provide our network with the opportunity to connect and share insights, give and receive advice, and identify potential areas for collaboration with key stakeholders and partners.

This year, the summit will occur on May 19th and will be in person for the first time since 2019. Attendees of this half-day event are our network and program partners, the Small Business Administration, North Dakota Department of Commerce, and the University of North Dakota, in addition to network staff, our State Advisory Board, the leaders, executive directors, and board chairs of our host institutions, and our partner development corporations.

We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight these relationships and their importance to our network. Without our dedicated partners throughout the state, the ND SBDC would not be able to help small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive.


The ND SBDC has three main funding partner organizations:
U.S. Small Business Administration, the University of North Dakota, and the ND Department of Commerce. These three organizations are the cornerstones of the ND SBDC network in North Dakota. Our funding begins with the SBA; they award an annual amount that the ND SBDC must match at a 1:1 ratio to receive each federal dollar. The Department of Commerce, through the North Dakota state legislature, receives an allocation for the ND SBDC during each biennium to help meet the federal match. The University of North Dakota serves as the ND SBDC’s host institution and is referred to as the Lead Center. The Lead Center, while hosting service centers with business advisors itself, also oversees sub-award programs where service centers are hosted by other organizations in communities across the state. The Lead Center provides these sub-award programs with fiscal oversight and ensures compliance with standards on behalf of the ND SBDC’s cooperative agreement with the federal government.

As key partners, each of these institutions is represented on our State Advisory Board by an ex-officio member. Representing the SBA is Al Haut, North Dakota SBA District Director. Representing the Department of Commerce is James Leiman, Commissioner ND Department of Commerce. Representing UND is Amy Henley, Dean of UND’s Nistler College of Business and Public Administration.

Sub-Award Host Organizations

Our sub-award host organizations are integral to local service delivery and ensure access to ND SBDC advisors and services throughout the state, no matter how rural the community. These organizations host ND SBDC centers and their business advisors, and are often a local entity such as a college, a university, or an economic development organization. Sub-award hosts operate under contract agreements through UND. These service centers are then joint funded by the sub-award entity, local program sponsors, and allocations made by the Lead Center from program partners.

Our current sub-award hosts are Bowman County Development Corporation, North Central Planning Council, West River Business Center, and Williston State College.

Program Sponsors

Local support beyond sub-award hosts is both required and incredibly impactful for our service centers. As our advisors work with local entrepreneurs and business owners in ways that develop local businesses and benefit local economies, community buy-in and support is crucial. State and local program sponsors support ND SBDC services through monetary or in-kind contributions in addition to advocacy efforts. This assistance and support is integral to ensuring that service centers continue to operate, that they can reach potential clients, and that local leaders and legislators – who allocate funding and support at state levels – can see the impact and importance of ND SBDC work in communities. Without program sponsors, we wouldn’t have service centers.

Our 2021 program sponsors were:

Adams County Development Corp. City of Grand Forks North Central Planning Council
Alerus Financial Cornerstone Bank North Dakota Opportunity Fund
Bank Forward Dakota Business Lending Rolette County
Bank of North Dakota Economic Develop. Assoc. of ND Rugby JDA
Bell Bank Eddy County Starion Financial
Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC First International Bank & Trust Stark Development Corporation
Bowman County Forward Devils Lake Towner County EDC
Bowman County Development Corp. Gate City Bank US Bank
Bremer Bank Grand Forks County Walsh County JDA
Capital Credit Union Grand Forks EDC Western State Bank
Cavalier County JDA Lewis & Clark Development Group Williston Economic Development
City of Bowman Mountrail County JDA
City of Grafton NDSU Research & Tech. Park, Inc.

State Advisory Board Members

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to advise, support, and advocate for the ND SBDC Network. Board members provide the State Director with insight into the world of small business and ensure that the interests of small business owners and entrepreneurs are represented in the network’s efforts to anticipate and meet current and future business needs. Membership on the board always includes at least two small business owners, two economic developers, two lenders, and the Economic Development Association of North Dakota (EDND) Board President. Ex-officio members representing the SBA, Department of Commerce, and UND also sit on the board as mentioned earlier.

Our current advisory board members and their contact information can be found on the advocates page of our website.

Without our stakeholders and partners, the ND SBDC would not be able to serve our state’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. Thank you to all who contribute and assist. We are incredibly grateful for your support and always look forward to working and collaborating with you.

If you or your organization would like to support or contribute to the ND SBDC and our mission, we are always looking for contributors, advocates, and champions for our mission. You can leave a reply below or contact State Director Tiffany Ford to start a conversation.

Thank you,
Tiffany Ford, State Director
And all the Staff of the ND Small Business Development Network



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