Cal State Fullerton Receives $1.6 Million to Operate Small Business Development Centers

May 7, 2007

By Pam McLaren

Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics was awarded $1.6 million by the U.S. Small Business Administration to continue overseeing Small Business Development Centers in Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Since 2003, the university has provided training, consulting and technical assistance to small businesses at these regional development centers. Nearly 3,000 small business owners received counseling and more than 8,000 received training from these regional development centers in 2005-06.

Michael Ames, professor of management and director of the college’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Institute, leads the university effort with Cal State Fullerton alumna and attorney Vi Pham.

“The total economic impact of our efforts totals nearly $50 million,” said Pham. “In this economic area, through the combined efforts of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Small Business Institute and the Small Business Development Centers, we believe that we can accomplish a goal of $1 billion over the next 10 years.”

Award-winning student teams, through the Small Business Institute, contribute to the success of the regional centers by providing consulting services that help strengthen businesses. In addition, the entrepreneur program in the College of Business and Economics serves to educate future business owners.

“Our goal continues to be to have all these areas work together to help each other and in the process move forward and grow successfully,” said Ames. “We don’t just want to maintain the services that we provide in training and consulting, but to expand to more of a community partner and to support networks developed by like businesses.”

In fact, says Pham, “we’ve been very encouraged that companies that got involved with the SBC development centers are now partnering to form other groups. There’s lots of opportunity here.”

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