WSU's small business center earns top regional honor

The Kansas Small Business Development Center at Wichita State has been named tops among 18 such centers in Kansas and Missouri.

Ingram's magazine said WSU's SBDC helped 669 businesses in 2009. That's nine more than the second highest SBDC, St. Louis Empowerment Zone.

Marcia Stevens, regional director of WSU's SBDC, said its clients started 67 new businesses last year, created 444 new full- and part-time jobs, retained 760 full- and part-time jobs, and generated more than $17.9 million in new sales.

WSU's SBDC provides entrepreneurs one-on-one counseling at no cost in areas business plan development, financial analysis, marketing, human resources, strategic planning, operational issues, market research, advertising strategies, sales techniques, selling to the government and inventor assistance. It also holds free or low-cost seminars for small businesses.