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SBA Officials Recognize Pennsylvania 2019 Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award Winner

Advisory Date: 
Friday, May 3, 2019
Advisory Number: 
20190503-001
Contact: 
robert.goza@sba.gov | www.sba.gov/pa
Widener University SBDC recognized May 6

EASTERN Pa.– The U.S. Small Business Administration officially recognizes Widener University Small Business Development Center as its Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award Winner, May 6. Media are invited to attend.

WHO:  John Fleming, Acting Director, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District

Dr. Ernie Post, Director, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Network

Talia Boyd, Business Consultant, PA Department of Community and Economic Development

Lenin Agudo, Director, Widener University Small Business Development Center

Invited: Local, state and federal officials

WHAT:  Widener University Small Business Development Center is introduced as SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner; media tour, interviews and photo opportunities

WHEN:      May 6 at 10:45 a.m.

WHERE:    Widener University SBDC, 1304 Walnut Street, Suite 117, Chester, PA 19013

“It’s wonderful to have the privilege to recognize the achievements of stellar Pennsylvania small business resource partners like Widener SBDC and leaders like Lenin,” said John Fleming, Acting U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director. “SBA resource partners, including the SBDC network, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE help small businesses with everything from drafting business plans to complex management principles. SBA’s resource partners, like Widener SBDC, have a lot to be proud of for the help they provide small businesses.”

“The Widener University SBDC can accomplish our proven record of success and innovation because of the strong leadership of the center director, Lenin Agudo, and his dedicated staff who power the engines of excellence and innovation throughout the year,” said Dr. Ernie Post, Director, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Network. In addition to graduate students who staff the SBDC, Business Consultant and Government Marketing Specialist Bruce Downing; Business Consultant Jim Turner; and Assistant Director Peter Hornberger, all work to help their clients succeed.

“It’s a great honor for my SBDC team to win this SBA award. Not only am I proud of their expertise and dedication to be recognized, but I am very proud of the work we accomplish for our community. Being able to see the entrepreneurs we help achieve the dream of starting their business is incredibly rewarding,” said Widener University SBDC Director Lenin Agudo.  “We help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by providing them with the skills, knowledge and know-how they need to start and grow successful businesses.”

Widener University SBDC’s mission is to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions and prosper. Employing a full-time staff of professionals, the SBDC’s business consultants have impressive credentials and practical experience with every stage of business from start-ups to thriving, established businesses. The SBDC offers existing businesses and early-stage entrepreneurs’ access to no cost, confidential consulting services. Widener SBDC is part of a state-wide network of colleges and university centers which is a joint venture of federal, state, and private sector agencies and organizations including the US Small Business Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. Each agency, along with Widener University, contributes to the financial support of the program.

Small businesses that have benefited from the work of the Widener SBDC team:

  • Judy’s Homemade Ice Cream established itself as the premiere destination for exclusive ice cream creations in Ridley Park.
  • Selina Kedziora, the owner of G. Adams Restoration, used Procurement Technical Assistance Center resources and worked closely with her SBDC business consultant for advice on several issues.
  • Working with the Widener University SBDC, Carl Everett put together a plan to start his own business. By 2014, Charlie B’s Texas Bar-B-Que opened with a huge grand opening inviting people from all over the community, including the mayor of Chester who came to see what the new barbecue spot.

As one of the top producing SBDC centers in PASBDC network, Widener University consistently meets its programmatic goals by serving clients in the region and at the university through innovative programs:

  • The SBDC launched a new Master Class, “Forging Invincible Businesses,” as a pilot program; the foundational philosophy of the program guided the session and strategic direction of the center for 2018.
  • The SBDC’s Success Lab enables SBDC business consultants to engage entrepreneurs in mission-specific, outcome-driven activities to build and grow their business. The Success Lab’s primary purpose is helping SBDC consultants lead active and participatory consulting engagements, enhancing client-consultant engagement and inspiring entrepreneurs to take control of the tools and dimensions of the Lab.
  • The SBDC’s continued partnership with the Defense Logistics Agency and the Southeast Pennsylvania Procurement Technical Assistance Center enables its clients to access support to register as a vendor for government contracts, develop government marketing plans to find contract opportunities, explore GSA Contracting, and become certified as a small business, minority, woman, or veteran-owned business.
  • Widener University and the SBDC’s contract from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to house and operate the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) provides clients with on-site assessments, emissions calculations, preparation and submittal of requests for determinations assistance, permit applications and plans, and explanation of permit requirements and customized record keeping and reporting systems throughout Pennsylvania.

One of 18 Small Business Development Centers in the Pennsylvania SBDC Network and an accredited affiliate of the national network of Small Business Development Centers, the SBDC provides consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business. SBDC consultants may work with entrepreneurs in confidential, one-to-one sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities and much more.

SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award Winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania. Award presentation events are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy. Learn more about National Small Business Week at https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week.

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To request interviews or photos, contact Eastern Pennsylvania District Office Public Information Officer Robert Goza at robert.goza@sba.gov.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.