DETROIT LAKES – Minnesota State Community and Technical College has been selected to host the West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center for a three-year period beginning Jan. 1.
M State was selected for its proven commitment to business development, existing resources, large geographic and demographic footprint, and established partnerships with regional businesses and industry.
The center will be located on the M State campus in Moorhead from January 1, 2023 to 2025. The campus is located at 1900 28th Avenue S. in Moorhead.
“I am absolutely confident that the Minnesota State Community and Technical College will do an excellent job of providing the best advice, education and business support available to residents and small business customers in the area,” wrote Bruce Strong, State Director of Minnesota Small Business Development Center Network, in his congratulatory letter to M State.
The center will have an accessible office and meeting area that will be open throughout normal college hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M State will also host part-time satellite sites throughout the region as needed.
The West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center serves Clay, Becker, Otter Tail, Wilkin, Grant, Douglas, Traverse, Pope, and Stevens counties and is one of nine SBDC regional offices in the state. The SBDC was founded in 1980 to help small businesses start, grow and thrive. It offers free individual professional business consulting services and helps secure investment capital for business ventures.
“Housing the SBDC regional office in M State will provide exciting opportunities for our students, our community partners and anyone in the region interested in starting or growing a business,” said Carrie Brimhall, President of M State. “M State is uniquely suited to this role with our long history of educating and mentoring students in the region, as well as our proven success in building relationships with communities and working with regional businesses.”
SBDC’s clients include business owners, students, entrepreneurs and others who need realistic advice from hand-picked advisors on everything from developing a business plan to selling a business. M State will recruit current faculty, contract consultants and trainers with the college’s Workforce Development Solutions to provide these consultations.
Marsha Weber, dean of M State’s School of Business and Information Technology, cites Workforce Development Solutions as “one of the reasons we had such strong reasons for locating the SBDC office here.” Weber and M State Grants Coordinator Cindy Bailey wrote and submitted the proposal for M State to host the center.
“We can really leverage Workforce Development Solutions, our custom training division, to help with the SBDC – the two will complement each other perfectly,” Weber said. “I think in the communities where we operate and in the region where we operate, the entrepreneurial environment is ripe for new entrants. Both SBDC and Workforce Development Solutions can identify and respond to the needs of emerging entrepreneurs and small business owners.”
Many supporting stakeholders are on board to assist M State in identifying and recommending SBDC clients, developing training, outreach, distributing materials and collaborative projects. These partners include the City of Moorhead, Downtown Moorhead Inc., the West Central Initiative, and Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, to name a few.
A full-time regional director will be hired to oversee the SBDC center at M State, and a program coordinator will provide supporting responsibilities such as client planning and accounting.
Concordia College, Moorhead, which has been the SBDC regional host since 2011, will continue to host through the end of the year.
The SBDC is supported by the US Small Business Administration, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and other local partners.
As a member of the Minnesota State System, M State serves more than 7,000 undergraduate students each year in more than 70 career and liberal arts programs online and at its Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena campuses. Through partnerships with communities, the college also offers staff development services and other engaging training programs.