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Florida SBDC at University of South Florida 2016 Annual Report

Florida’s Principal Provider of Business Assistance [288.001, Fla. Stat.]

Advancing Tampa Bay’s Economy Eileen Rodriguez Regional Director, Florida SBDC at USF This year was a remarkable year for the Florida SBDC at USF! We engaged with many businesses in our 10-county region and delivered an array of products designed to help them grow. We facilitated nine student team projects at USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg, and Warner University. Students prepared marketing and strategic planning reports for our clients and both came away with a better understanding of how those small businesses operate. Other ways we engage with our small business clients include the preparation of Export Marketing Plans. In 2016, we prepared plans for 11 companies, helping them identify their foreign target markets and we accompanied eight clients on the successful Tampa Bay Export Alliance trade mission to the Dominican Republic. Our consultants spent more than 16,000 hours consulting with businesses in a wide range of topics and we held 114 training seminars; both of these services helped us reach more than 3,000 entrepreneurs in 2016. Our no-cost consulting is a direct result of the investment made by the Muma College of Business, the State of Florida, our local governments, and our partnership with corporations such as Wells Fargo, BankUnited, and Fifth Third Bank, amongst others. This funding enables us to hire and train a highly qualified team of consultants and staff that provide our customers with all the tools they need to expand their businesses. Our mission at the Florida SBDC is simple and one we strive for every day: Helping Businesses Grow and Succeed!


Kris Manning Business Manager


Florida SBDC at USF | 2016 Annual Report

Yanina Rosario Associate Director

Carol Johns Hillsborough County Economic Development Center Director

Carl Hadden Assistant Director

Dr. Cynthia Johnson Pinellas County Economic Development Center Director

About the Florida SBDC Network The Florida SBDC Network, established in 1976, is the state’s principal provider of business assistance. Headquartered at the University of West Florida with 10 regional offices, over 40 centers, and over 50 outreach locations, the Florida SBDC Network serves entrepreneurs and small businesses in every Florida county.

Florida SBDC at USF Workforce Highlights


As the only statewide provider of entrepreneurial and business development services, the Florida SBDC Network plays a vital role in Florida’s economic development by assisting emerging and growing businesses through every stage of the business life cycle.

Since its inception, the Florida SBDC Network, the largest SBDC program in the country, has assisted more than 1.1 million emerging and growing businesses through:

· · ·

Strategic Market Research Business & Strategic Planning Market & Revenue Growth Strategy Development & Implementation

· · · ·

Capital Access & Loan Packaging Financial Analysis & Assessment Accounting & Financial Literacy Feasibility Analysis & Start-up Assistance

20 USF EMPLOYEES 18 PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS CONSULTANTS & SPECIALISTS Our team of business consultants in the Florida SBDC at USF region have more than 343 years of combined economic development, small business development, and business ownership experience. Consultants are professionally certified in advanced areas of expertise, including but not limited to:


Adobe InDesign Certification

Adobe Photoshop Certification

Certified Global Business Professional

Certified Marketing Executive

Certified Research Administrator

Certified Workforce Professional

Export/Trade Counseling Certification

Are able to save jobs and sales revenues that might otherwise have been lost;

Google Analytics IQ Certification

Profit Mastery Facilitator

Are better able to raise capital to support the startup and growth of their businesses.1

VA CVE Counselor

Generate sales and employment opportunities that return more in tax revenues to state and federal funding partners than the cost of operating the program; Believe that the SBDC contributed substantially to the performance improvement of their businesses;

1 Economic Impact of Small Business Development Center Counseling

Activities in the United States: 2010-2011,” by Professor James J. Chrisman of Mississippi State University


Florida SBDC at USF | 2016 Annual Report

Student Teams

“Our office was sort of in a cruise control mode, and it was good to have students challenge me with questions about where do I see myself in 5 to 10 years. It was also good to hear from young people how I can better market myself to them in a cost-effective and efficient manner.” — TJ McKeon, McKeon Chiropractic The Florida SBDC at USF had multiple universities and business clients participating in the Spring and Fall semesters of Student Teams. They included: 

“This is a triple win situation,” Eileen Rodriguez, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at USF, said. “The students get exposed to the inner workings of a real Product: Marketing Plan business; the SBDC expands our offerings by connecting our clients to the Muma USFSP - Two Sisters Accessories - 292 hrs College of Business’s top-notch MBA students; and the business owners obtain valuable information for the sustainability and growth of their company.” Product: Marketing Plan USF - Florida Orange Groves, Inc - 357 hrs Depending on the class they are taking, students prepare either marketing plans or full-blown business plans for the businesses involved in the program. The Teams Product: Strategic Marketing Report will review marketing strategies, operations, and analyze financials, and prepare a final report with recommendations for the firms to follow. USF - PikMyKid - 350 hrs USF - Mother Kombucha - 350 hrs Product: Promotional & Marketing Report

USF - Custom Manufacturing - 350 hrs Product: New Markets Research

Warner - Family Elder Law - 350 hrs Product: Strategic Analysis

Warner - McKeon Chiropractic -350 hrs Product: Strategic Analysis

Warner - Tire Barn - 350 hrs Product: Strategic Analysis


The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida partners with professors on campus to facilitate Student Team projects in their classes. The semester-long Teams are offered through various classes, and are a win-win for all involved.

USFSP - PaleoSimplified - 165 hrs

Product: Research & Strategy Report 

A Triple Win for Businesses, Students, Network

The companies are clients of the Florida SBDC at USF and vetted by a Florida SBDC at USF director. A FSBDC consultant oversees the project throughout the semester as well. All of this is provided at no cost to the university or company. In the last school year, nine local companies were served through Student Teams, with more than 2,900 hours worked by the students involved. “The experiences gained by the students were valuable and resulted in two students being offered unsolicited internships with the participating companies,” James Taylor, Adjunct Instructor, USF Center for Entrepreneurship, said. Taylor’s students worked more than 350 hours throughout the semester to provide Custom Manufacturing & Engineering (CME) with new markets research and recommendations. CME was equally as pleased with the experience. “Although students, the professional way in which they conducted the recent project out-brief demonstrated effective completion of the complex research effort,” Fred Munro, Vice President of CME, said. “The dedication, hard work and extra hours that the team put in during the last few months will enhance CME’s solar4STEM market pursuits.”

“In the recent out-brief CME received, the USF Student Team provided important market information that they effectively compiled that will now support CME’s product launch efforts and growth in market awareness of our new solar4STEM 200 Solar Participating businesses must agree to meet with the Student Team a few times at Electric instructional technology product..” the beginning of the semester. Communication throughout the semester continues — Fred Munro, CME Vice President via e-mail and telephone to provide sufficient information about the business to the students to make the business plan useful.

Florida SBDC at USF | 2016 Annual Report

Return on Investment Create, Retain & Save



Sales* Acquire Government


Access Investment











Start New



$143.7M 747

Florida SBDCs Accelerate Florida’s Economy

5 Year





For every $1 invested in the Florida SBDC program, $39 is returned to the state in tax revenue. Economic Impact of SBDC Business Development Activities on the Florida Economy, 2016* | Reported by respondent clients of outcomes resulting from or in part due to assistance in 2015**

Service Delivery Summary 2016  Professionally certified business consultants delivered 16,124 hours of consulting to 1,636 entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Tampa Bay region.  114 training events were conducted for 1,456 attendees, via seminars and special events.

 $2.8M in capital formation, including owner investment, loans and sales increases.*  $23.3M in government contracts were awarded to business clients.*

*Data has not been verified via the Florida SBDC Network annual survey, for 2016. Numbers may increase after survey is completed.

Grants 

Hernando County $21,000

Highlands County BOCC $11,000

South Florida State College



State Performance




Hardee County

Desoto County


$3,500 $3,500

Listed in order of award contract. The Florida SBDC at USF also has various corporate funders, including BankUnited (pictured at right in December 2016 during a check presentation).


Florida SBDC at USF | 2016 Annual Report

Social Engagement

Executive MBA Program Advertisement

We added the Executive MBA slider image to our home page during 2016 and linked directly to the information page. In December 2016, we began tracking number of clicks on the image. There were 12 clicks on the Executive MBA image from the Florida SBDC at USF home page in December.


We emailed our database of 16,000+ stakeholders, partners and clients twice throughout the year promoting the use of USF interns. We had multiple responses to that email and directed them to Dr. Cyndy Sanberg for further processing. First Email: 409 opens, 43 clicks (Tampa contacts only) Second Email: 1,659 opens, 105 clicks (All subscribers except legislators)

Could your business use a USF intern? The USF Muma College of Business internship program connects organizations with talented students who gain experience through paid internships. Offering internships not only gives companies the ability to find new talent, but also showcases the company's involvement in the community.

What having an intern means for you * Interns offer fresh perspectives and assistance with daily tasks. * Interns can help with backlogged tasks or implement ideas that existing employees haven't had time to tackle. * Interns are digital natives and adapt quickly to technology. * Interns with new ideas can devise innovative solutions for your company.

Find the best intern for your needs today.


Florida SBDC at USF | 2016 Annual Report

Hosting interns allows businesses to preview potential future new hires. Businesses use their standard rĂŠsumĂŠ review and interview process before extending a paying internship offer to a student.

Learn more.

2016 Year in Review Team Meets with 17 Legislators

Eileen Rodriguez, Bill McKown and Stacey Pierce traveled to Tallahassee January 27 and 28 to meet with district legislators to discuss Florida SBDC at USF services and highlight successful clients. The team met with a record 17 legislators and 23 legislative aides.

Seminar Attendance Grows

The regional office handles approximately 15 seminars per month, including the popular Startup Business Series. Seminar attendance grew by 15 percent in 2016.

29th Annual Government Small Business Conference

The Government Conference was held May 5 at Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore. The event featured approximately 200 entrepreneurs coming together to learn more about government contracting, with a keynote from U.S. SBA’s Cassius Butts.

ASBDC National Conference in Orlando

The Florida SBDC at USF was in the spotlight at the National Conference this year. Javier Marin was honored as the Florida State Star while the Center was recognized with a Best Practice Award for its Business Assessments. Stacey Pierce also led a seminar on Building an Effective SBDC Website.

Dominican Republic Trade Mission

Selma Canas and Eileen Rodriguez accompanied eight SBDC clients on the Dominican Republic Trade Mission, hosted by Tampa Bay Export Alliance.

Ecuador TV Visits the Center

Representatives from Ecuador TV visited the Florida SBDC at USF in February to discuss SBDC services with our directors. This was one of many media opportunities throughout the year, including a panel show on trade with WUSF.

CareerSource Polk Workforce Summit

CareerSource has been a major partner for the Florida SBDC at USF in years past. In March 2016, Assistant Director Carl Hadden was invited to speak regarding Marketing Your Business at CareerSource Polk’s Workforce Summit.

Maria Contreras-Sweet Visits SBDC Client

In July, International Trade Specialist, Selma Canas, accompanied U.S. SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, as she visited SBDC client, Black & Denim. Sweet met with the mayor’s delegation while in town.

40th Basic Economic Development Course

Once again, it was a full house for the 40th Annual BEDC at our Tampa office. Economic development professionals attend from all over the country to learn from the experts and prep for certification exams.

Top 100 Blog

In December 2016, Feedspot named the Florida SBDC at USF blog to spot #84 on its list of Best Small Business Blogs. The blog is managed by Stacey Pierce, with content created by USF interns, Bobby Bishop, Jessica Thomas and Summer Thomas.


Florida SBDC at USF | 2016 Annual Report

“I came to realize that you’ve got to know what business is, how to run a business, and I knew none of that. I was a very good music teacher and I thought if I built it, it’d come. That’s what drove me to research the SBDC and start attending classes.” – Matthew Maines, Tampa Music School

“The SBDC provided a consultant to review our website and provide us with very specific recommendations that will help us have a more interactive website as well as being able to get good feedback from the visitors that come to the site. As a result, we expect to implement a number of different recommendations and we think our website can improve, and will improve.” – Larry Madrid, Madrid Engineering Group

“They were there for me every time to say this is what you do next, in a way that made it easy to process. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to and figure out what the next step is.” – Dr. Jenny Mejia, Chiropractic Physician, Active Family Chiropractic

“Without SBDC and the export marketing team, I don’t know if we would have ever been able to get those appointments on our own. I think that there are opportunities for businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the plans that both SBDC and Enterprise Florida and U.S. Commercial Services all offer and work together on.” – Tom Nihra, J.T.D. Enterprises The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida is a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. SBA, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida, and other private and public partners; hosted by the University of West Florida; and nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.

Helping Businesses Grow & Succeed

2016 USF Annual Report  

See the 2016 accomplishments throughout the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida region's 10-county coverage area.

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