ND Small Business Development Centers
ND Small Business Development Centers

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

May 2023

Happy Stakeholders Month!

In honor of this ND SBDC Stakeholders Month, we wanted to share our new strategic plan for the 2023-25 timeframe.

For some background on how this was developed, let’s rewind. As you may know, the ND SBDC is an Accredited Member of the ASBDC. This accreditation process is rigorous, and we are happy to say that in our last review, we had zero conditions and one commendation! We are proud of this achievement for our network, and we are already working on the components for our next review in 2025. One very necessary and important component of this process is a network’s strategic plan. Since 2015, the ND SBDC has completed two strategic plans, and this one is better than any of our prior plans – for a number of reasons. Mostly because a major theme of this plan is improving balance for all staff and practicing the best uses of our time and energy.

Last year, we began the environmental assessments, and we asked a lot of you a lot of questions (we always love feedback, but even more when we are making plans for the future)! Our fantastic strategic plan facilitator helped us to categorize and plot responses, which we brought to our retreat in November. All of our network staff and our State Advisory Board members hunkered down for a day to define three top-level focus areas. Then the staff came back for another day to dig into those and draft some tactics for each. In January, the staff hopped on a virtual retreat to narrow down and figure out the real nitty-gritty action items to get the work done. Of course, there was a lot of wordsmithing in between to focus and clarify.


The team is very proud of this one. These are staff and stakeholder directed ideas that are going to help us be a better network and to serve our clients and stakeholders more efficiently in the coming years. This took a lot of work, and we know there will be much more work in the next three years! The strategic plan for SBDC networks needs to be actionable, and it can’t (and won’t) be collecting dust on the shelf. The deployment of the strategic plan carries more weight in our accreditation process than the plan itself does, so we hope you will stay tuned for updates as we work on these priorities.

Happy reading! We encourage you to reach out to any of our centers or the Lead Center if you have questions or would like to support us in our work. In fact, we welcome it (in case you didn’t already know that)! We also extend our gratitude to all of our stakeholders that provided input at the assessment and information gathering stages. Thank you!

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



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