Southeastern SBDC hosts statewide network conference
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND -- More than 40 Louisiana business consultants affiliated with Small Business Development Centers got a first-hand look at best practices as well as training in leadership and in other areas last week at a statewide conference hosted by Southeastern Louisiana University’s SBDC.
The five-day event provided networking opportunities, intensive idea sharing as well as a two-day segment on high performance leadership, accreditation standards and implementation of statewide training programs. Lead presenter at the conference was Chuck Mitchell, president of AFCI, a Florida-based organization that specializes in strategic planning and in training groups in continuous quality improvement.
The conference – which focused in part on Southeastern’s program as a model for business and economic development – was held in the Southeast Louisiana Business Center, which the university operates with other economic development agencies as a one-stop-shop for businesses looking to locate or expand into the area. The Southeastern SBDC surpassed all other centers in the state in its first quarter results.
"We’re honored that our model was selected as one that can duplicated in other areas of the state," said William Joubert, SBDC director. "The model works; in the past three years the center has helped raise over $100 million in capital for businesses throughout the north shore and averaged one start-up or expansion every week. About 80 percent of the business plans developed through the center get funded, and we’ve helped numerous businesses and individuals through more than 200 training seminars.
Joubert emphasized the importance of SBDCs working closely with clients as a key to success. "We help our clients help themselves by staying intimately close to each project and stressing client follow up," he said.
The Louisiana SBDC network provides consulting and training to startup and existing businesses. With nine centers in the state, the SBDC’s vision is to be come Louisiana’s preferred provider of entrepreneurial and small business assistance.