Hillsborough County’s commitment to build the prosperity of local businesses includes many free programs that creative entrepreneurs can take advantage of. The programs provide start-ups and small businesses with financial, technical, and infrastructure resources that can build a strong foundation for the future.
The Entrepreneur Services team provides entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout Hillsborough County confidential no-cost consulting and professional training, including services through:
- The Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (ECC) provides entrepreneurs easy access to business service providers, resources, mentorship, and specialty training. Services are provided for each businesses’ unique stage of development and business category: pre-venture, start-up, micro-enterprise, small-to-mid-size enterprise, community-based, targeted industry, technology and innovation, and more.
- The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Hillsborough County serves entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the County and across all industries through confidential consulting and professional training.
To access services:
- See a list of upcoming workshops provided by Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County
- Visit the Entrepreneur Events Calendar
- Log into the online service portal to access workshops, consulting and more
- Stop by the main office in the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center, 2101 E. Palm. Ave. in Tampa
Assistance to Grow Existing Businesses
- Business and Marketing Plan Tools* provide a simplified and realistic approach to creating essential business planning documents. These innovative software tools can help with tasks from identifying a target market to developing financial projections.
- Business Growth Consulting* is the Florida SBDC’s premier one-one-one consulting service designed to increase profits and accelerate growth. This personalized business service provides professional guidance throughout businesses’ life cycles.
- Business Assessments* are consultations that identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses to minimize risk and reduce threats. These services point businesses in the right direction.
- Financial Technical Assistance* can increase loan applicants’ probability of securing a loan to grow their business. The Florida SBDC offers pre-and post-loan closing assistance and is the technical assistance provider for business owners interested in securing financing through banks, credit unions, and Small Business Administration (SBA) Lending Programs. We offer tools that help companies postured for growth become fiscally sound, stay financially stable, and remain bankable as they position their business for expansion.
- Market and Industry Research*are value-added consulting services that help entrepreneurs to learn about their customers, competition, and industry. The Florida SBDC provides business research and sources to develop creative marketing plans and successful sales strategies. The Florida SBDC’s market research tools can help businesses analyze data to determine what products and services are in demand and how to be competitive.
- Small Business and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SBE/MBE/WBE)* certification programs may present growth opportunities for small businesses and help them gain a competitive advantage for local government contracts. The Florida SBDC encourages small business participation in the County’s purchasing and procurement activities.
- Strategic Planning* helps businesses make better business decisions to achieve their goals and objectives.
- Business Plan Critiques and Reviews* are provided to help the business owner/entrepreneur not only complete a business plan, but adjust the plan as needed to help obtain the expected results. Professional critique of the written document provides guidance to the owner and helps avoid costly business mistakes.
Assistance for Pre-Venture, Startups, and Established Businesses
- Business Continuity is a program to help businesses prepare for, re-open and recover from disaster. Some disasters are nature-related, such as hurricanes or floods. Other forms of interruption are inflicted by humans, such as terrorism, war, theft or cyber-attack. Other disruptions such as fires or accidents can end a business if unprepared. Business continuity planning can minimize disruption and greatly reduce failure risk.
- Business Formation is challenging but exciting. Most business owners need guidance in selecting the right legal entity such as a corporation or LLC. While SBDC and Entrepreneur Services do not provide legal advice, information and guidance is available to help the entrepreneur start with a solid foundation.
- Business Plan Development is a service provided to help the business owner/entrepreneur not only complete a business plan, but adjust the plan as needed to help obtain the expected results. Professional critique of the written document provides guidance to the owner and helps avoid costly business mistakes.
- Access to Capital can increase loan applicants’ probability of securing a loan to grow their business. The consultants provides pre-loan assistance and is the technical assistance provider for business owners interested in securing financing through banks, credit unions, and nonbank intermediaries.
- Financial Technical Assistance is needed to plan new and existing small business operations. Consultants work with small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop financial projections to support their business plan. Financial projections contribute to determining if a new business idea/model are feasible and if they will be profitable for the business owner. Statements development includes Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statement, Cash Flow Statement and Break-even Analysis.
- Marketing/Target Market Development assists small businesses and entrepreneurs with developing a target market through the use of marketing research and demographics on the anticipated and existing market. Consultants help businesses analyze data and determine the feasibility of entering a selected market
- Understanding QuickBooks makes creating invoices, writing checks and managing customers all easier. This introductory class takes you through the basics of the software program. This course gets you started on making your company’s bookkeeping simpler.
- Social Media Strategies are important when trying to build relationships with your customers. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn are all relationship building tools you can use to win the hearts and minds of your customers (so they think of you first when it comes time to buy). These tools also serve as a way to help prospective customers discover your business. This seminar provides basics on what you need to know to use social media to promote your business.
*These services are provided by the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County. The Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration (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.