Widener Small Business Development Center Receives Statewide Award

SBDC Receives Award
Widener University Small Business Development Center celebrates after receiving the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award.

Widener University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) received the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Kicking off National Small Business Week, officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania District joined President Julie E. Wollman, Dean Jayati Ghosh, SBDC Director Lenin Agudo, and several students and clients in Quick Center on May 6.

“We are pleased to have the U.S. Small Business Administration recognize the extraordinary work of Widener’s Small Business Development Center,” Wollman said. “Widener’s SBDC has a demonstrated record of success in connecting university students with local entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses. I look forward to seeing the SBDC continue to create these valuable connections and offer transformative learning experiences for our students.”

Ghosh echoed Wollman’s sentiment, saying the Widener SBDC is designed to connect local businesses with students who can help them find innovative solutions to 21st-century problems.

These hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students are key to their future success. They learn to think outside the box and leave Widener prepared for careers of the future. -Ghosh

Widener was chosen for the award from 18 small business development centers in the Pennsylvania SBDC Network in recognition of its innovative approach and ability to consistently meet its goals. Ernie Post, director of the Pennsylvania SBDC Network, nominated Widener.

“The Widener University SBDC can accomplish our proven record of success and innovation because of the strong leadership of the center director, Lenin Agudo, and his dedicated staff who power the engines of excellence and innovation throughout the year,” Post said.

SBDC Award Group Photo

“It’s a great honor for my SBDC team to win this SBA award,” Agudo said. “Not only am I proud of their expertise and dedication to be recognized, but I am very proud of the work we accomplish for our community. Being able to see the entrepreneurs we help achieve the dream of starting their business is incredibly rewarding.”

In addition, one of the Widener SBDC clients, American Wood Design, Inc., was awarded the 2019 Eastern Pennsylvania District Family-Owned Small Business of the Year Award, after SBDC consultants and Widener students helped the business successfully relocate to Chester.

Mike Gilhool, Jr., vice president of American Wood Design, Inc., said the Widener SBDC was instrumental in helping the business secure a loan and purchase the new location in Chester.

“Being in business, a lot of people come in and say ‘here’s my business card, we’re in business development and we’ll do this for you,’” Gilhool said. “But there’s always a hesitation. Not with SBDC. They really are very trustworthy.”

At the May 6 event, Widener SBDC also honored some of its notable student entrepreneurs and clients. They included:

  • Joshua Sheehan and Kelly Bachich
  • Dominic Peters
  • Donald Edwards
  • Everest Medical Care, LLC (Dr. Li, Dr. Wang, and Yoyo Yu)
  • Therapeutic Articulations, LLC (Dawn Gulick)
  • American Wood Design, Inc. (Michael and JoAnn Gilhool)
  • Cheryl’s Southern Style, LLC (Cheryl Stevens)
  • What a Crock Meals to Go, LLC (Justin West)
  • MJ Freed Theater (Devon Walls)
  • Tandem Music Group, LLC (Orlando “Jahlil Beats,” Ra-Tah Johnson and David Elliott)

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