Endeavor Center and Small Business Development Center

By Ryan Mapes, Business Development Network Program Leader and Endeavor Center Manager

The Endeavor Center continues to operate at near 100% capacity.  We currently have 17 partner companies that occupy 25 office and light industrial bay spaces.  We also have three virtual partners that occupy the building on a part-time basis but do not have a physical office space.  At present time, we have a 200 sq. ft. office and a 400 sq. ft. office available, however in the last 3 weeks, have had three inquiries to lease those spaces.

One of the unique assets of the Endeavor Center is the composition of training, classroom and computer lab space.  These rooms are set up to accommodate meetings of up to 72 participants.  During the last quarter, our meeting rooms were rented 165 times.  You can view individual room set-up and capacity at the following link:  southcenters.osu.edu/endeavor-center

The Small Business Development Center also had a very active first quarter.  Our counselors have been working with many clients and have assisted with more than twenty new business starts since October.  We celebrated the first ever National SBDC Day along with SBDCs from around the country by promoting the OSU South Centers SBDC via use of social media.  Jim Laipply, the State SBDC Director shared, “This was a great opportunity for us to come together as a statewide network and as a national program to share the impact and reach of SBDC.  Additionally, Ohio was represented incredibly well across social media platforms with nearly a dozen Ohio SBDCs or SBDC host organizations posting on #SBDCDay. This was a great opportunity to see the power that social media can have in providing exposure to our program.”

The SBDC partnered with Community Action of Pike County Business Development to host a “Starting Your Business from Dream to Reality” course at the Endeavor Center.  This class met twice a week for five weeks.  Counselors for the SBDC taught segments in the areas of cash flow, financing, marketing, and social media.  There were 13 individuals who completed the class.

A Gap Lending Roundtable was held in February to link lenders with potential gap lending resources.  The audience consisted of area lenders and the program featured speakers from a dozen gap lending or alternative lending resources available in our region.  The intent of this workshop was to make introductions, network, and develop relationships between the lenders and lending resources in the area.

OSU South Centers SBDC counselors partnered with Ohio University and participated in a series of entrepreneurial promotion events in Scioto, Ross, Jackson and Pike counties.  The PORTSFUTURE Entrepreneurship Roundtable series events were held at the Shawnee State University, Ohio University Chillicothe, the Ohio State University Extension office in Jackson and at the Endeavor Center.

The Ohio Export Assistance Network program was recently recognized nationally for utilization of the IMAGE Grant.  Kelly O’Bryant, the Export Assistance Network counselor at the OSU South Centers was recognized for this award along with other export counselors from around the state at the NASBITE conference in Spokane, Washington.  The following paragraphs from the Ohio SBDC Newsletter describe the IMAGE Grant, it’s successes and export metrics obtained as a result.

“The Ohio Development Services Agency’s International Marketing Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program was recently honored with the 2017 Advancing International Trade State Award by the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE) at its annual conference in Spokane, Washington.

The Ohio Export Assistance Network program was recently recognized nationally for utilization of the IMAGE Grant.  Kelly O’Bryant, the Export Assistance Network counselor at the OSU South Centers was recognized for this award along with other export counselors from around the state at the NASBITE conference in Spokane, Washington.  The following paragraphs from the Ohio SBDC Newsletter describe the IMAGE Grant, it’s successes and export metrics obtained as a result.

“The Ohio Development Services Agency’s International Marketing Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program was recently honored with the 2017 Advancing International Trade State Award by the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE) at its annual conference in Spokane, Washington. 

In 2016, Ohio exported nearly $50 billion worth of goods and services worldwide. The IMAGE program, a state and federal grant, helps marketing internationally more affordable to Ohio small businesses.

“Ohio consistently ranks as one of the top ten exporting states in the U.S.,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “By helping small businesses market internationally, Ohio remains competitive in a global marketplace.” 

For the last four years of the program, IMAGE has provided a total of 441 grants to Ohio small businesses to assist with international marketing activities. Participating companies reported a total of $188.4 million in expected global sales generated from the activities supported by the IMAGE program.

Also, to increase the rate of success for Ohio small businesses in the global economy, the State of Ohio also offers programs to help small businesses hire an export intern, conduct market research and improve export processes. For more information, visit: www.exportassistance.development.ohio.gov 

The IMAGE program supported by the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) offers financial assistance to small businesses to promote their products and services into international markets. 

For information about the IMAGE program, visit: www.image.development.ohio.gov”