About Us

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The North Carolina SBTDC is a business advisory resource for growing and developing businesses. Our highly skilled professionals provide services statewide from offices hosted by campuses of The University of North Carolina System. The SBTDC operates in formal partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, making it a unique and valued asset in the economic development infrastructure of North Carolina.

Business, government, and university leaders recognize the SBTDC’s value and impact. The effectiveness of SBTDC services is confirmed by ongoing client evaluations and annual independent verification of our economic impact. SBTDC programs and services are regularly reviewed by federal and state funding partners. The SBTDC also undergoes a rigorous external accreditation review every 4-5 years, and has been continuously accredited without conditions since 1988.

We provide small business expertise.

The SBTDC’s professional staff are highly experienced and knowledgeable – most have prior business ownership or executive experience and over 70 percent have graduate degrees. This depth and diversity of talent positions the SBTDC to help businesses address a broad spectrum of issues including: planning, financial management, human resources, marketing, and operations. Additionally, the diverse backgrounds of our staff allow us to match our services to client needs and provide industry-specific advice and counseling.

Our professional staff establishes valued relationships with SBTDC clients designed to produce meaningful and effective results. The SBTDC places a high value on professional development and provides quality, relevant training to our staff to keep them in a position to best help North Carolina businesses grow and flourish.

We offer training and education.

The SBTDC recognizes that a well-prepared prospective entrepreneur may become the next leader of tomorrow’s high-growth business. Despite our concentration of services to existing small and mid-size businesses, the SBTDC also provides valuable training, resources, and assistance to those in the process of starting a new business.

Our website, sbtdc.org, provides a wealth of resources, including: training videos; a business start-up guide with an entrepreneur assessment; a guide to funding opportunities; and other resources valuable to prospective entrepreneurs including business planning, marketing, legal, and human resources.

In addition, each of the SBTDC’s regional offices regularly provides educational seminars on starting a business for no fee. We also conduct more thorough and in-depth classes for those seeking a practical, hands-on approach to developing a business plan and improving their business management knowledge and skills.

We assist communities and economic developers.

As a part of our economic development mission, the SBTDC provides direct service to economic development organizations, government agencies, and university departments. Our team of research analysts and strategic planning specialists has:

  • Facilitated the development of numerous local and regional economic strategies
  • Managed project feasibility studies
  • Provided technical assistance for entrepreneurial programs (such as small business incubators)
  • Crafted community economic development plans
  • Designed business needs assessments
  • Conducted market analyses

Our ability to tap the expertise and resources of our university colleagues uniquely allows the SBTDC to assist: county and municipal governments, regional economic development partnerships, chambers of commerce, councils of governments, community development corporations, community colleges, and various other organizations.

We leverage university resources statewide.

As an inter-institutional program of the University of North Carolina System, the SBTDC is in a position to leverage the resources of 16 campuses in all regions of the state. Our connectivity within the University System allows us to access faculty, staff, graduate student teams, and interns for client-centered projects. Faculty and students gain valuable relationships and experience working with real-life client businesses, while our clients receive additional knowledge and resources from an academic research perspective.

We maintain strong partnerships.

In addition to our relationship with NC’s universities, the SBTDC maintains strong partnerships with many federal and state agencies, local, state, and national financial institutions, and non-profit organizations. The SBTDC receives significant financial support and resources from the US Small Business Administration.

Our connections with hundreds of statewide, regional, and local economic development organizations allow us to reach thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs each year. These partnerships also provide valuable resources to the SBTDC and our business clients. Some of our more active relationships are with: the NC Department of Commerce, the NC Community College System, the NC Biotechnology Center, the NC Rural Center, U.S. Export-Import Bank, and NC’s Regional Economic Development Partnerships.

By working together, we improve North Carolina’s business climate, help companies grow and create jobs, and provide increased tax revenues for the state.

We restore stability.

At times of crisis, the SBTDC can be counted on to help restore stability for North Carolina’s business community. From natural disasters to an economic collapse, and even in preparation for a potentially crippling pandemic, the SBTDC has been a key partner in the state’s response. The SBTDC has structured itself to be nimble enough to react quickly and effectively to the challenges North Carolina faces. Our statewide network of staff and partners allow us to implement recovery plans when called upon. The SBTDC is here for North Carolina and its businesses when needed.