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State’s Small Business Development Center earns national accreditation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Small Business Development Center has earned full accreditation from the Association of Small Business Development Centers, the national accrediting body for Small Business Development Centers under contract from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Federal statute mandates that every five years, SBDC programs undergo a robust review to continue program eligibility and funding. The America’s SBDC Accreditation Committee voted unanimously to fully accredit the WVSBDC program.

“Accreditation is essential to upholding the high quality of the national SBDC program and in securing funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration,” said Kristina Oliver, state director of the WVSBDC. “No other publicly-funded program undergoes the accountability examinations and reviews that SBDCs receive to ensure management strength, financial accountability and economic impact.”

In October 2015, the committee conducted a weeklong series of interviews with key West Virginia Department of Commerce officials, federal Small Business Administration personnel, WVSBDC Network and others pertinent to the program. 

The review encompassed accreditation criteria based upon the Malcolm Baldrige Standards of Performance Excellence, such as strategic planning, process management and results.

The accreditation review team presented the WVSBDC report March 2016 at the America’s SBDC Accreditation Committee meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The WVSBDC helps West Virginia’s potential entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business, new proprietors who have been in business for a year or less and established business owners looking to sustain or expand their operations. Small businesses make up 95 percent of all employers in the state. 

The WVSBDC is part of the West Virginia Development Office and creates economic impact through offering entrepreneurs and small businesses cost-effective business coaching and technical assistance. The WVSBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Small Business Administration.

For more information, call the WVSBDC Business Ask Me! Line at 888-982-7232.