The Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) recently earned renewal of accreditation from the America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) nationwide network.
LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler said, “It is rewarding to see the efforts of our service centers and state office team maintain our mission toward Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in a level that is peer-approved and respected.”
“I truly appreciate the work of our LSBDC staff across the board and am proud that we have been reaccredited for our work with small businesses,” Kessler said.
The accreditation review process, mandated by Congress, is based on the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Program developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to assure that SBDC programs operate efficiently and effectively. Failure to achieve accreditation can result in the loss of federal funding.
A three-member team comprised of the SBDC state directors and associate directors from Virginia, Alabama, and Texas conducted the review. The accreditation, which lasts five years, includes a thorough review of the leadership and organizational management, the strategic planning process, client and stakeholder focus, service delivery, and program performance. Meeting accreditation standards ensure that the public investment in the program from the federal government, the state government, and the host institutions results in strong returns for Louisiana’s economy.
“The LSBDC is commended for their esprit de corp. We saw a positive and committed workforce throughout the state that demonstrated resilience, led by a state office team that was well respected and highly thought of by the service center employees,” said Virginia SBDC Director and accreditation team leader Jody Keenan.
“They are also to be commended for receiving two national SBDC Excellence & Innovation Awards in the past three years,” she added.
Charles “Tee” Rowe, President of America’s SBDCs, the association of SBDCs, said the LSBDC’s accreditation is a great example of what makes SBDCs unique.
“Following our accreditation standards, they plan strategically, implement thoroughly and achieve success for their clients,” Rowe said. “They are a great example of the SBDC program’s performance model.”
Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Secretary Don Pierson also spoke proudly about the LSBDC’s accreditation renewal.
“The official accreditation of the LSBDC network is evidence of its motivation to provide only the very best service to Louisiana small businesses,” Pierson said. “The support that these centers provide to small businesses across the state is truly best-in-class. LED values its partnership with the LSBDC and will continue to work with its leadership to support the foundation of Louisiana’s economy—small businesses.”
The LSBDC State Office is housed at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). As the host university, ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno said, “ULM is proud of its partnerships with businesses in our region because together we can help bolster the economy of northeast Louisiana.”
“The LSBDC plays an integral role in developing small businesses while also providing educational opportunities for our students in the College of Business,” Dr. Bruno said, “so this accreditation renewal is a significant achievement for the LSBDC and ultimately our region.”
Since 2005, the LSBDC served 118,000 existing and aspiring entrepreneurs – creating 12,000 jobs, 2030 new businesses, $902 million expansion and start up capital, and $810 million in new sales.