Widener Small Business Development Center is SBA’s 2013 SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award Winner
The Widener University Small Business Development Center has been awarded the Small Business Administration’s 2013 SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award for not only Eastern Pennsylvania, but the entire Mid-Atlantic Region. Widener's center was recognized for its superior commitment to serve Delaware County and its small business community. U.S. Small Business Administration Philadelphia District Director David Dickson presented Widener SBDC Director Glenn McAllister with the award on May 28 at the Widener SBDC located at 1350 Edgmont Ave., Chester, Pa.
The Widener SBDC is one of 18 Small Business Development Centers in Pennsylvania. 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 to help them start or grow small businesses. It also offers educational workshops for a nominal fee.
Pennsylvania SBDC State Director Christian Conroy nominated the Widener SBDC for the inaugural SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award. He highlighted Widener's perfect score on a new metric system implemented in 2010 to track the performance of Pennsylvania's 18 SBDC center. Widener scored a 270 out of a total possible score of 270 for both 2010 and 2011 and far surpassed each of its goals in nine key performance metrics, which include a blend of output, impact and client satisfaction measures.
In many performance areas, the Widener SBDC exceeded its set goal by more than 300 percent. For example, in 2010, the SBA and Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development asked that the Widener SBDC strive to hold 12 educational programs. The Widener SBDC held more than three times that number with 44 educational programs that year. In 2011, it held 46.
The Widener SBDC also greatly impacted the local economy by exceeding its goals for increasing sales and impacting jobs. In 2010, the center was charged with the task of increasing clients' sales by $4 million. It surpassed this amount, increasing sales by more than $10.8 million. In 2011, it helped increase clients' sales by more than $14.1 million. With regard to jobs, the center was asked to impact 100 jobs in 2010 and 93 in 2011. The center's actual number of jobs impacted was 249 for 2010 and 288 in 2011.
"I expect the Widener SBDC to win this award again next year," said Conroy. "The center has scored another perfect 270 for 2012 thanks to Glenn McAllister and his team."
At the May 28 ceremony, McAllister thanked his team and Widener University School of Business Administration Dean Savas Özatalay for offering university support. In addition to funding, Widener provides the SBDC with six undergraduate and six graduate students to help with its efforts to serve Delaware County's prospective entrepreneurs and established small businesses.
Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,700 students. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.
Photo Caption: Appearing at an award ceremony to honor the Widener SBDC are, from left to right, Christian Conroy, state director for Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers; Glenn McAllister, director of the Widener SBDC; Savas Özatalay, dean of the Widener School of Business Administration; and David Dickson, director of the U.S. SBA Philadelphia District.