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Business development training for entrepreneurs and small business owners

By Paula Anderson

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) works with small business owners and provides resources to help them grow the economy.


According to SBA's website, the agency was created in 1953 to strengthen the overall economy  of our nation.


On May 8, 2019, the Tennessee office is hosting its annual Business Development Academy in Nashville to help business owners move to the next level in government contracting along with helping firms apply for and succeed within SBA’s 8 (a) Business Development program - SBA’s program for minority small business owners.


Latanya Channel, state director for Tennessee said, “This is a statewide conference and seats will fill up fast. This conference is ideal for any small business to build capacity and capability to perform on government contracts, not just 8 (a) firms.


The one day workshop will focus on government contracting, counseling related to management, marketing, operations and other business services that will assist businesses. Breakout sessions will cover prime and subprime contracting opportunities, as well as certification and business development strategies after certification has been received.


Government contracting is another revenue stream for small business owners who need to grow and scale their business.  Businesses can apply and become vendors for the federal government.


There are no certification requirements to apply as a vendor.  But, there are industries that have limited participation in the program.


Kena Dixon, business opportunity specialist with SBA said, “While SBA does not prefer one industry over another, following are industries were we only have a few in Tennessee that are participants in the 8 (a) Business Development Program  - and we need more in these industries.”

  • General Construction

  • Specialty Trades: Electrical, HVAC and Plumbing

  • Information Technology


In addition to contracting, lenders will be on hand to talk about capital and funding.  Access to capital can be a challenge for small business owners.


Travis Hughes, vice-president of Lending at Pathway Lending said,”As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we are passionate about getting all entrepreneurs access to the education and capital they need. Our track record of helping businesses in minority and low-income communities demonstrate our commitment to success and growth."


Channel said, “ Businesses should see if their business is small and be familiar with all of SBA’s certification programs for small business when attending because this helps to identify work throughout government before they complete the proposals.”


To learn more about the The Tennessee District of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the SBA and its partners for this upcoming training - Nashville Business Incubation Center (NBIC), Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and SBDC -  contact Kena Dixon, Eric Terrell or LaTanya Channel @ 615-736-5881.


Register at http://ow.ly/oAzw30nXNNn

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