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Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us. She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of…

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

  • SBDC: Temple University SBDC
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Job Creation and the Pennsylvania SBDC: A Look at How Small Businesses Jump-Start the Economy

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With Pennsylvania's unemployment rate currently hovering around 7.5%, there is an ongoing debate on how to jump-start the economy and create new jobs. This is an important time to look at the impact a healthy, growing small business sector has on the economy.

Every day, Pennsylvania entrepreneurs work to start and grow businesses across the state. Their chances for success – defined through a variety of performance indicators, including the development of new jobs – improve when they turn to the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) for help.

In fact, a study reported that 84% of Pennsylvania SBDC clients who start a business create new jobs within one year of receiving assistance. The study, conducted by Dr. James J. Chrisman of Mississippi State University, also found the Pennsylvania SBDC helped create 5,382 new jobs to Pennsylvania at a cost of $1,315 per job of taxpayer investment in the SBDC program. This means that a new job is created every one hour and 18 minutes by an SBDC client.

Even established business owners who receive assistance from the SBDC play an important role in job creation and security. Chrisman found that an additional 7,933 jobs were saved as a result of the SBDC’s guidance.

The numbers become more real when you look at the faces behind them. Wharton SBDC client Jiri Stekjskal, for example, has grown CETRA Language Solutions into a company that now employs 20 people and finds his company on the Philly 100 list for the fastest growing local companies. And Hugh Weber, a plant engineer at the Hoeganaes Corporation, turned to the Bucknell SBDC for help in saving 25 manufacturing jobs in Northumberland County.

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs and the new businesses they start are the engines of job creation. The Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Kansas City that specializes in advancing entrepreneurship, found that between 1980 and 2005, “virtually all net new jobs created in the U.S. were created by firms that were 5 years old or less.”

The Pennsylvania SBDCs work with these start-ups -- along with firms in all stages of business -- to put them in the best place for future growth.

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