The SBDC Millennial Conference M3 Goes “Back-to-Back”

June 28, 2017

M32017 Attendees

Creating a sequel to your favorite movie is always a challenge. I mean, it’s almost impossible to duplicate the success. Think about it. Was Ice Cube’s “Next Friday” as good as “Friday?” How about “The Hangover Part II” compared to “The Hangover?” Or take it back even further and compare the original “Grease” and “Grease 2.” Back-to-back success is no guarantee, but for the second annual Maximizing Millennial Minds Conference (#M32017), it did what most can’t do – surpassed the success of its inaugural year!

#M32017 was centered around its content, New Orleans’ culture, and there were cocktails!  (more…)

Young Entrepreneur Trades Job Search for Fashion Dreams

November 18, 2015

defeliceAs a recent college graduate, Sarah DeFelice was committed to a career that fulfilled both her passion for fashion and her love for life in the Green Mountain State. But as she researched the local job market, few opportunities matched her criteria for happiness.

“In short, my motivation to starting my own was that my dream job didn’t exist unless I created myself,” DeFelice said. And that’s exactly what she did.

Earlier this year, the 26-year-old fashion maven opened the Bailey Road boutique at 44 Main Street in Montpelier. The store offers elevated clothing, handbags and jewelry at accessible prices.

“We are dedicated to helping our customers achieve both professionally and personally,” Defelice said. “Whether you are on the hunt for that knock ‘em dead outfit, want help updating your wardrobe or are just looking for some retail therapy, Bailey Road can be your personalized fashion expert every step of the way.”

But long before DeFelice could make her dream become a reality, she encountered many challenges along the way. First and foremost, having little financial history and assets, DeFelice struggled to prove her business was viable to lenders. “One of the hardest parts of starting a small business as a young entrepreneur is that most traditional lending opportunities look only at the numbers and not your business plan,” she said.  (more…)

Amped Apparel – Taking Your Brand to the Customer

August 17, 2015

Amped-ApparelSuccess Story: Pennsylvania

“Try and go about it in the correct way. Consult with the SBDC. It’s easy to not want to spend as much money and time, but by taking the proper steps first, you’re establishing a brand that can grow.” – Adam Sitz, Owner, Amped Apparel

Impact of working with the Shippensburg University SBDC: Adam Sitz attended Shippensburg University to pursue a college education. While at Shippensburg, he continued to develop the Amped Apparel business that he started as a teen and that is celebrating its 6-year anniversary this year. Today, Amped Apparel is an action sport and lifestyle clothing brand. Amped also sponsors multiple athletes in various action sports. Amped Apparel’s products include t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, girls’ tanks, beanies, accessories, socks, bags, and eyewear.  (more…)

Washing Cars… Protecting the Environment

August 3, 2015

Simple-Car-WashSuccess Story: Pennsylvania

Impact of working with the Penn State SBDC: In March of 2014, Taylor Mitcham reached out to the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by stopping in at their on-campus walk-in office to discuss her business idea for a waterless car wash.

The SBDC helped Taylor navigate the maze of legal and tax issues that she would need to address. She formed a Limited Liability Company and obtained an Employer Identification Number and a Pennsylvania Sales and Use Tax License.

Taylor officially launched Simple Car Wash in July, 2014, offering her services to other Penn State students and residents in the State College area. Since there is no brick-and mortar storefront, she needed to be creative in ways to market her business. (more…)

Young Veterans Show Strong Interest in Business Ownership, Creating Quality Careers As Earnings Far Outpace Those Of Average Vets

August 4, 2014

boots.jpgIn the third of a series of articles investigating who is buying and selling small businesses in America, BizBuySell identifies how military veterans are faring in the business-for-sale market.

It’s no secret that U.S. military veterans are a force to be reckoned with in the nation’s small business economy. But according to the latest research, both older and younger veterans are emerging as major players in the buying of small companies.To better understand todays’ business-for-sale market, BizBuySell.com recently commissioned a demographic study of individuals engaged in buying or selling a small business. The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 buyers and sellers, highlighted several trends that are shaping today’s market.

One of the trends the survey revealed is that a surprisingly large number of veterans are shopping for small businesses. According to BizBuySell’s study, 13 percent of prospective small business buyers listed themselves as veterans.  (more…)

What Investors Really Want to Know

November 14, 2013

Venture capitalists (VCs) make you work hard for their money by inundating you with question after question about your fundraising process, your company goals, your founding team, among other things. Many of these questions will seem reasonable. Some will seem ridiculous.

But no matter the question, you must have an answer. And your answers better be good.

Behind all of this interrogation, there is one key underlying question: what makes you different? Regardless of the variation on the theme, your potential VC is really asking why your business — as compared to others vying for their money — is worth their investment.

If you’re ready to join the ranks of funded entrepreneurs, you need to be prepared to answer this key question. How? (more…)

Trick or Treating For Small Business Funding

October 26, 2012

As a kid, it didn’t take long to learn which neighbors to avoid on Halloween. There were the cheapskates who expected you to share a single Tootsie Roll with your kid brother. Or the curmudgeons who claimed trick or treating hours were over and all you punks needed to get back home ASAP.

When it comes to searching for funding, you’re no longer the kid with the ultimate trick-or-treat route. Now’s the time to knock on every door, no matter how uninviting they might seem from the curb..

Let the Funds Knock on Your Door

You could create a Website soliciting donations for you and hope for the best, or you can create a profile on Kickstarter. Fair warning: Kickstarter’s business model caters toward creative projects and tech businesses. This online community serves as a platform for entrepreneurs to: (more…)

Finding Government Financing for Young Entrepreneurs

July 31, 2012

Ah, youth — the time of a million great ideas that are a million dollars short of ever coming to fruition. Of course, if you believed that, you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur.

In truth, while finding financing for a business run by a young entrepreneur may be difficult, especially considering the current economy, it’s not impossible. In fact, some funding sources are practically designed for the unique needs of young entrepreneurs.

To the collective sigh of young entrepreneurs stateside, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several loan programs that don’t penalize you for lacking experience. Most of these programs are administered through banks and underwritten by the SBA, so make sure you ask your bank’s commercial loan officer about SBA-related options. (more…)

Young Entrepreneurs: How to Counter ‘Lack of Experience’ Concerns

July 25, 2012

It’s a common experience—we’ve all been told one thing, only to find the opposite holds true. And for many young entrepreneurs, this phenomenon comes to fruition when working with older business associates. Growing up, you may have been told, “Do not let anyone look down on you because of your youth.” But this doesn’t always hold up in the real world.

Because we live in a society that generally assumes people gain worthwhile experience over time—and for good reason, because it’s often the case—you’ll likely encounter potential investors, partners and even customers who will intimate (or vocalize) their concern about your youth and relative inexperience.

While this is the cross the young entrepreneur must bear, it doesn’t mean these opportunities are beyond your reach. As you pursue new business where your youth seems to put you at a disadvantage, try to include these points as you argue against a perceived lack of experience. (more…)

How and Why to Support Young Entrepreneurs

April 20, 2012

Young Entrepreneurs are more important than ever, and it is vital for current entrepreneurs to support this next generation of business leaders.

Regardless of background, ideology or industry – most people in the world agree that entrepreneurial innovation positively impacts society and the world. Future leaders and entrepreneurs grow up in a world where technology and information change more quickly than ever. Information learned in school can be obsolete by the time students graduate. This is why young entrepreneurs need the support of the people that understand how a swiftly changing environment impacts the business community and how that relates to the role of an entrepreneur.

Current entrepreneurs and small business owners should invest in supporting and training up-and-coming entrepreneurs to ensure the most vibrant workforce possible for all entrepreneurial endeavors. It benefits everyone to encourage and train students interested in starting businesses, and the network of SBDC’s is an example of how small business support can make a difference. (more…)