Part of being an entrepreneur is having an instinct for taking an idea and turning it into a successful business.   However, there’s a lot of work needed to get from the initial idea to becoming successful, and you may not have the tools handy to get the work done.  

The good news is, you don’t have to do this work on your own, as the federal government and states work in partnership in the operation of small business development centers. These agencies are here to help you establish and maintain your business while aiding you in its growth. 

Governments at all levels support entrepreneurs and small businesses to help stabilize communities and generate revenue. For example, small businesses make up 99.8% of all business types in California.  

The public and private sectors responded by creating various types of bureaus and organizations to support small businesses throughout the state.  

Relevant Reading:  22 Ways a Digital Marketing Agency Helps to Grow Your Business 

Read on to learn more about the 10 best developmental programs for small businesses and how your business can benefit from them. 

 1. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

A small business development center provides business education to small businesses that are in the startup phase and currently operating. They’re run by community organizations and state governments to support entrepreneurs looking for business education and support.   

SBDCs and the Small Business Administration (SBA) collaborate to provide support and resources.  

Certain SBDCs also function as community development finance institutions (CDFIs), giving entrepreneurs and already-existing firms access to loans. CDFIs provide loans with better repayment terms and a higher likelihood of approval. 

2. Small Business Grants

Municipalities, states, the federal government, as well as private foundations and businesses, all provide small business grants. Numerous organizations provide funds for minority-owned firms, grants for small businesses in particular categories, and grants for enterprises in need of seed money to get started.  

To increase your chances of receiving money if you want to apply for a business grant, seek assistance from a qualified grant writer or contact a grant consultant.  

Grants for small enterprises offer the benefit of not requiring repayment of the funds. The money is used either as specified by the grant, or for the operation of the business. 

3. Florida Business Development Corporation (for Florida businesses)

The Florida Business Development Corporation (FBDC) is a privately owned organization with offices throughout the state.  

Its goals are: 

  • to assist Florida limited liability companies firms in obtaining business education through partnerships with different Florida universities and institutions 
  • to facilitate the connection between company borrowers and lenders 
  • to offer assistance to business owners with diverse backgrounds. 

4. Office of Small Business Development Centers

The SBA’s Office of Small Business Development Centers oversees managing the national network of SBDCs.  

Even if it doesn’t directly offer resources for entrepreneurs, the office itself explains: 

  • how SBDCs work 
  • what services they offer 
  • what to expect while using them 

Additionally, it guarantees that SBDCs work to assist underprivileged groups in obtaining capital and resources for their entrepreneurial endeavors.

5. 8(a) Business Development Program

This nine-year program, which is provided by the SBA, assists businesses run by individuals who face social and economic disadvantages. Companies who meet the program’s eligibility requirements get training and support to help them grow and become more competitive. 

The SBA partners with other federal agencies to give qualifying businesses access to federal contracts through a certification process.  

Once a business in the 8(a) program receives certification, it is given training and assistance to bid on federal contracts and understand how to be competitive.

6. SCORE

SCORE is a free business mentoring service that’s available to people who are looking to start a business or have established their own business.  

When you partner with SCORE, you gain access to a mentor who has business experience and provides you with: 

  • Advice 
  • Support 
  • Education  

The mentor helps you understand: 

  • the basics of running a business 
  • how to engage in best practices 
  • How to address your current challenges 

The process works by entering your zip code, then filling out a mentoring request form. SCORE takes the information you provide and matches you with a suitable mentor from its database.

7. Business Assistance for Disadvantaged Businesses

Acquiring capital and business development services can be challenging for minority-owned and run enterprises.  

The goal of every SBDC in the nation is to assist minority business owners in obtaining resources and assistance for the growth of their small enterprises. This program stimulates local business growth and stabilizes underprivileged neighborhoods.

8. SBDCs and Universities and Colleges

Local colleges and universities frequently partner with SBDCs to offer free business classes. The classes cover topics that include how to attract and make customers feel welcome, how to deal with changes in your business, writing a business plan, and more.  

Your local SBDC office can help connect you with the schools offering the classes you’re interested in taking. 

In turn, you gain access to a quality business education that helps you understand and apply standard business principles.

9. America’s SBDC

America’s SBDC is a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs find an SBDC that’s local to them. It lists almost 1,000 SBDCs across the U.S. and provides information about the programs that each one offers.  

The organization also: 

  • reports on the latest changes to SBDC legislation 
  • puts on annual conferences 
  • offers resources that are adjunct to the services and information provided by SBDCs.

10. Illinois Small Business Development Centers

Illinois is another example of a state-run SBDC that helps limited liability companies in Illinois get off the ground and support existing ones. Some of the available services include confidential business guidance, one-on-one sessions, assistance with the creation of a business plan, and more.  

Illinois SBDC resources also include access to specialized resources in technology and innovation development. 

These 10 developmental programs offer many opportunities for small businesses across the US to thrive and grow. However, if none of these options align perfectly with your business needs, fear not. Digital marketing services present another avenue for expansion and enhancement. 

Unleash Boundless Potential: Propel Your Small Business to Uncharted Success 

SBDCs around the country offer a wide range of business development services that help you learn the general processes that come with starting and running a small business.  

All forms and levels of government have an interest in seeing small businesses open and thrive and are willing to put forward the necessary resources to help entrepreneurs succeed. 

The education offered by an SBDC is provided at their offices or with universities and colleges in the state for free. This means you’re getting a quality education that’s on par with undergraduate students. 

Getting help from an SBDC is easy, the information that’s available is comprehensive, and the organization delivers the support you need, no matter if you’re starting your journey with the SBA or the Florida BDC. 

While SBDCs offer invaluable support and education, there’s always room to enhance your digital presence and reach through strategic marketing. If you’re looking to expand your online visibility, connect with potential customers, and boost your ROI, consider partnering with BrandLume for expert local SEO and digital marketing services. 

With our tailored approach and dedication to small business success, you can confidently navigate the digital landscape and unlock the full potential of your enterprise.