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Florida SBDC Network earns national accreditation

The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC Network) has received full accreditation by the national accrediting agency—the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC). The SBDC at the University of North Florida is a member of the Florida SBDC Network.

According to Janice W. Donaldson, regional director of the SBDC at UNF, “Accreditation is critical for the SBDC to secure continued funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and is also essential for the national SBDC program to be recognized as a high quality economic development organization.   No other publicly-funded program undergoes the annual accountability examinations and review that SBDCs receive to ensure management strength, financial accountability and economic impact.”

In its 34th year of operation, the SBDC at UNF successfully links resources of the federal, state, and local governments with the state’s education system and the private sector to aid in the development and education of Florida’s entrepreneurs and small business community. Designated as Florida’s Principal Provider of Business Assistance by state statute, the statewide FSBDC Network, with 36 locations from Pensacola to Key West, has the integrated infrastructure of professionals and partners needed to successfully serve Florida’s business community.

In 2009, the SBDC at UNF directly attributed to helping its clients open 74 new businesses; create or retain 682 jobs; acquire nearly $10 million in capital for business formation and expansion; and enjoy sales growth worth $11 million.

The FSBDC Network, a statewide service network of 36 centers, is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, hosted by the University of West Florida and accredited through the national Association of SBDCs.

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