alert Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Group 4 email out facebook fax flickr grid instagram LINK linkedin location Group 47 Group 9 Group 9 Group 47 PHONE play Group 4 " Search twitter video face_white youtube
Student from SBDC at Phatso's Bakery

Doing Business

Located just off Widener’s Main Campus in Chester, the Widener SBDC affords Widener students – both at the undergraduate and graduate levels – the opportunity to gain real-world business experience by working with clients who are looking to start or grow a small business.

The SBDC program is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and the 18 colleges and universities across the commonwealth that host the centers.

Since opening its doors in 2007, the Widener SBDC has provided Delaware County small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with a wide variety of free and confidential services and resources. It also offers educational workshops for a nominal fee.

“We get all over the spectrum as far as businesses,” said Jasmyn Trent, ’14 MBA, a former graduate assistant for the SBDC. “Either they are existing businesses, they’ve been in business for 20 years, or they are just starting up with a fresh idea. It’s really good to get that exposure.”

Widener typically provides the SBDC with six undergraduate and six graduate students to help serve clients. Undergraduate students enrolled in the upper-level Management 451 course also work with SBDC clients on semester-long projects to tackle a specific business problem or opportunity.

School of Business Administration Professor Michael Rosko recently led four Management 451 teams on projects involving two SBDC clients and Chester business owners – Cheryl Stevens of Cheryl’s Southern Style and Richard Wilcox of Phatso’s Bakery. One group developed a business plan to help Stevens grow her restaurant sales, while another worked on a plan to boost her catering business. The other two groups worked with Wilcox, one developing a plan to help increase sales, and the other a plan to help expand his bakery into a café.

According to Jim Porter, consulting manager for the Widener SBDC and an adjunct faculty member who also teaches Management 451, the Widener students have truly made an impact on the small business world through their coursework. He said that the students’ plans have helped launch a number of small businesses, with a recent success being Small Lawns Mowing Service out of Garnet Valley, PA.