Dear Fellow North Carolinians,
With the issuance of this 2013 – 2014 Annual Report, we celebrate the 30th year of service by the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center to our state’s small businesses.
It began with The University of North Carolina System’s Board of Governors approval of the establishment of the SBTDC in April, 1984. The North Carolina General Assembly provided the initial appropriation ($300,000) to support the program in June of 1984. These actions were taken specifically to create our state’s participant in the national SBDC program administered by the US Small Business Administration. That was followed by SBA approval of the SBTDC for participation in the national program and its first year funding ($354,000). Since then, the SBTDC has grown to become the largest multi-campus inter-institutional center of The University with offices across the state and has served over 130,000 small to medium-sized businesses.
As one might expect, the SBTDC has changed significantly over the years. It’s larger by far and the range of its services, much more extensive. But, there are also some important consistencies throughout the history of the SBTDC. Key among these are:
- An understanding that hiring the right people and supporting their professional development is critically important to our success
- A record of continuous self-assessment and improvement
- A commitment to outcomes and impact-based performance
- An on-going interest in the engagement of the energy and talent of students in “real world” business and economic development issues.
We will only briefly celebrate our 30 years of service. The opportunities and challenges confronting existing small to medium-sized businesses still demand our full attention and support. The data on the performance and impact of the SBTDC (see page 10) is impressive; but it is the success stories of the featured clients that really convey what we do and how we impact the lives of so many of North Carolina’s entrepreneurs year in and year out.
The clients included in this year’s report are representative of hundreds and hundreds of others who are growing their businesses in North Carolina – and helping to make this a great place to live. We at the SBTDC are very proud to be able to serve them. And, we look forward to many more years ahead in which to continue to contribute to North Carolina’s growth and prosperity.