Release Date: June 5, 2013 Contact: Michele Arends
Release Number: 3012 (605) 330-4243, ext. 11
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNIZES SOUTH DAKOTA CENTER FOR ENTERPRISE OPPORTUNITY (SD CEO)
WITH WOMEN’S CENTER OF
Sioux Falls – The South Dakota Small Business Administration District Office has announced South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO), Spearfish, as the recipient of the South Dakota SBA 2013 Women’s Center of Excellence Award. SD CEO was also named the Regional Award Winner and will represent Region VIII which includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming during National Small Business Week during the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week, (June 16-21). SD CEO’s awards were presented in Rapid City on May 10, 2013, at the Black Hills Community Economic Development, Inc. annual meeting.
The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) is located on the campus of Black Hills State University. In 2009, the University, through a five-year grant awarded by the SBA Office of Women Business Ownership, established the SD CEO. The mission is to provide comprehensive training and business assistance, support and counseling for aspiring and established entrepreneurs on a statewide basis. Specific target audiences include Women, Women Veterans, Native Americans, Youth Entrepreneurs and the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged.
Since 2009, SD CEO has exceeded all of the goals set forth in the SBA Work Plans. Each, year the number of participants continued to expand from 535 attendees and clients in the first grant period to over 1200 in the third year grant period. SD CEO created a monthly Women In Networking (W.I.N.) organization, created and hosts the annual Celebrating Women in Business Luncheon and created and hosts SD CEO’s signature event, the South Dakota’s Women’s Business Conference. Helen Nessan-Merriman has served as the SD CEO Director since November 2009 and was named Honorary Commander for the 28th Contracting Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base in August of 2012.