Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington serves as the regional host for the Indiana Small Business Development Center. In my role as regional director of the South Central SBDC region, it is my responsibility to help all Hoosiers in our region interested in starting a small business get the information they need to make decisions about starting their business. For those already in business, it is our job to help you stay in business, grow and thrive.
We provide free assistance with business plan development, provide market research data such as industry forecasts, demographic studies, competitor analysis and other value-added reports that are free for our clients. We provide support for small businesses looking to export their products/services to other countries outside of the U.S. We make connections for our clients to subject matter experts including accountants, lawyers, lenders and other key partners to be successful in business.
I recently put together some data on our client activities for 2021 as part of our year-end report. It’s always interesting to understand our client demographics for our 10-county region (Monroe, Brown, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Daviess, Dubois, Washington, Orange and Crawford counties). Here are some highlights:
- We served over 365 clients in 2021 (5,500 statewide).
- 54% of our clients are women (51% statewide).
- 22% of our clients are minority & veteran-owned (33% statewide).
- More than 50% are in rural areas (32% statewide).
- We served 14 clients with exporting needs (over 100 statewide).
- We provided support for 68 Hoosier businesses through the Indiana Technical Assistance Program (INTAP).
- We provided support to 300 Hoosier businesses through the IU HOPE digital commerce project.
- We hosted or partnered with other organizations to provide 12 workshops/webinars.
- Through our partnership with the Ivy Tech Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, we served 19 Ivy Tech students in their new RISE Entrepreneurial Studies course.
As you can imagine, we have been busy! Our team of dedicated advisers and partners make our operation robust and their expertise in running small businesses themselves, providing subject matter expertise in finance, marketing, e-commerce and other fields make us a powerful partner for entrepreneurs and existing small businesses. If you are interested in help, let us know. You can simply log on to our website at www.isbdc.org to request our assistance and we will promptly get back to you.
Steve Bryant is regional director for the South Central Small Business Development Center and executive director of the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington.