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WSBDC Receives Full Accreditation by National Organization


October 26, 2011 — The Wyoming Entrepreneur Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been fully accredited by the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), the national accreditation agency.

A  partnership among the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council (WBC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the SBDC educates small business owners and potential owners on how to successfully start, operate, expand and buy/sell small businesses. The SBDC serves the entire state with regional offices located in Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Powell, Riverton, Rock Springs and a satellite office in Laramie. The state office is inside the UW Education Annex Building.

Last year, the SBDC worked with approximately 1,315 small businesses throughout the state, and recent SBDC clients received approximately $12.8 million in financing.

Necessary for states to receive SBA funding, national accreditation is essential to maintain and recognize the high-quality economic development expertise of the SBDC networks nationally, says Jill Kline, SBDC state director. An ASBDC Accreditation Committee review team visited Wyoming SBDC offices for one week in August after thoroughly reviewing a narrative response to the accreditation standards.

Team members reviewed office operations and interviewed SBDC staff members, sponsors and clients. Among criteria used for WSBDC accreditation were a well-defined process to establish a long-term strategy and short-term action plans for greater impact; identifying customers, markets and key stakeholders to determine expectations; delivering and managing WSBDC programs; and developing a system for documenting, analyzing and reporting work performance and economic outcomes for continuous improvement.

"Not only is the review process  rigorous, maintaining high standards, quality processes and continuous quality improvement can only be accomplished with a dedicated, professional staff," Kline  says. "Being awarded full accreditation says a lot about our staff."

The Wyoming Entrepreneur network is a business consulting group consisting of the SBDC, Wyoming Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the Market Research Center (MRC). The organization helps Wyoming entrepreneurs succeed, with both general and specific business advising and market research services, typically at no charge to Wyoming residents.

"Congratulations to everyone in the Wyoming SBDC for their fine efforts to make this important accreditation possible and for their continued high quality work to assist Wyoming small businesses," says Bill Gern, UW vice president for research and economic development. "The WSBDC is making a difference that translates to jobs and prosperity for the citizens of Wyoming."

Steve Despain, SBA district director, says the accreditation comes as no surprise because Wyoming has always had one of the nation's best programs.

"It has always been an innovative program with everyone working as a team," he says. "The teamwork and everyone's willingness to do what is best for small businesses in Wyoming are what makes this program so great. The success of the program is directly related to the quality of all the individuals that bring the SBDC program in Wyoming to life."

Bob Jensen, Wyoming Business Council CEO, says the SBDC is a, "tremendous asset to the business and entrepreneurial community in the state."

"We congratulate SBDC on successfully completing this process and continuing its full accreditation. The University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council and SBDC work closely together every day to help existing Wyoming businesses grow and expand and assist entrepreneurial start-ups," Jensen says. "We know first-hand the high level of professionalism, experience, and dedication the SBDC team has.  We appreciate the partnership we have with them as an integral part of the Business Resource Network."

For more information about the WSBDC, contact Kline at (307) 766-3593 or jkline@uwyo.edu

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