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Boulder SBDC Launches Entrepreneurship Program for Teens

Monday, May 16, 2016

On Saturday, June 25, the Boulder Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Boulder Public Library, in a new collaboration, are hosting a free interactive learning opportunity for teens interested in entrepreneurship. 

“I believe that some of the greatest leaders emerge when they are still young - before the world tells them what they can't do, and before the expectations of fitting into the adult world are forced upon them.  Teens have the most amazing dreams!” says the Introduction to Entrepreneurship for Teens facilitator, Erin Lewis. 

Lewis was the youngest person and first woman to run a major railroad depot in the US, has worked on international business development deals worth over $500 Million for GE, and has been active in the startup community here in Colorado for the past 5 years, and wants to share her experience and expertise with the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

Any teen interested in learning about entrepreneurship is encouraged to attend the event on June 25 from 10:00am until 4:00pm at the Boulder Public Library (lunch will be provided). Throughout the day, teens will hear stories from real life entrepreneurs about how they started their own business and discuss various paths the teens could take to start their own. Teens will work in teams throughout the day to walk through the process of manufacturing a product, creating plans, learning about product differentiation and market strategy with changing market conditions, and how to set a price for a product or service. 

In Lewis’ opinion, “I think teens are stuck between people that expect nothing of them, and people expect too much from them, but what they need more of is just exposure to ideas so they can chart their own destiny.  I've made more than my share of mistakes, and have come out the other end. Not having all the answers just means that you are brave enough to ask more questions.”

For more information and to register for this free event, click here

National Small Business Week in Colorado

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A new website has been launched in honor of Colorado Small Business Week!

This website has been launched in honor of this year's Small Business Week for the Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC), along with several small businesses, community organizations and financial institutions.The website is It will be available for people in Colorado to find all events, workshops, webinars, and celebrations that will occur during that week in local communities. If you would like to add an event to the website, one that supports or provides training for small businesses, fill out the comment section on the website and include all the event information.

"Small Business Week highlights the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout Colorado," said Fiona Arnold, Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. "With over 560,000 small businesses in Colorado and half of our workforce employed by small businesses, this week will celebrate their critical contributions with workshops, events and festivities to celebrate Colorado's entrepreneurial spirit."

Since 1963, the president of the United States has declared a National Small Business Week to highlight the impact of small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. This year the US Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week is May 1-7, 2016. 

Celebrate the week with Boulder SBDC by joining us for some workshops we are hosting!

Tuesday, May 3

Wednesday, May 4

Wednesday, May 4

SBIR Roundtable: Challenges of Getting Phase II and Commercialization
Thursday, May 5

You can join the conversation with the hashtags #ColoradoCollaborates and #DreamSmallBiz.

THRIVE Conference February 27, 2016

Thursday, March 03, 2016

On Saturday, February 27, 2016, Boulder SBDC had the pleasure of helping coordinate and participate in the first bilingual THRIVE Conference at Front Range Community College in Longmont.  

The conference was aimed toward helping Boulder County residents with low to moderate incomes build assets. Topics included Homeownership, Social Action, Money Skills, Older Adults, Education, Business, and Health. The goal of the conference was to help make connections for a brighter future. Through workshops, interactive lunch discussions, and a resource fair, attendees set “Make It Happen” goals to take the next step in building a stronger future for themselves, their families and our community. 

We were able to offer two business-related workshops in Spanish and English. One included a panel of small business owners who talked through the challenges and successes they experienced starting their own business, resources that helped them, and advice for people just starting or thinking about starting a business.  Attendees asked lots of great questions and even gave some advice to others in the room from their own experiences. During the Spanish version of the panel presentation, participants were eager to learn from our Assistant Director, Mark Gittes, about importing from other countries, such as Mexico. Everyone seemed to gain something from the discussions. Thank you to Rocio Perez, CEO of Inventiva Consulting, Betty Artes of Casa Alvarez Foods and Mark Gittes, Assistant Director for the Boulder SBDC for sharing such great advice with aspiring entrepreneurs!

The second workshop we offered was How to Start & Correctly Operate a Small Business with SBDC Consultant Jesse Esparza. Jesse covered topics such as determining your target market and finding your competition as well as other key elements to starting a business. He also shared helpful resources for getting started. After the workshop, one attendee exclaimed, "This was exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for all of the great information!"

Other workshop topics throughout the day included financial empowerment (understanding the power of savings), how to pay medical bills on a limited income, healthy and local eating, social action (how to create positive social change), how to enroll in a university, powerful steps toward owning a home, and basics of Medicare. 

View photos of the event by clicking here!  

Thank you to the organizations that were a part of the steering committee!

·         Jamie Brandess, Marketing and Events Manager, Boulder Small Business Development Center

·         Rebecca Chavez, Director, Admission & Outreach, Front Range Community College

·         Nino Gallo, PIE/IDA Program Coordinator, Boulder County Community Action Programs

·         Cynthia Garcia, Bilingual Admission and Outreach Representative, Front Range Community College

·   Eliberto Mendoza, Boulder County Community Action Programs 

·         Katie Pague, Boulder County Housing & Financial Counseling Coordinator

·         Rosemary Thompson, PIE/IDA Coordinator, Foothills United Way

·         Lisa Widdekind, Emergency Management Coordinator, Boulder County Public Health

·         Katie Wade, Respite & Companion Volunteer Program Coordinator, Boulder County Area Aging Services

Colorado Small Business Development Center announces winners of the 2015 LEADING EDGE Business Plan Business Plan Competition and Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, March 01, 2016
The Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, held the annual LEADING EDGE Business Plan Competition and Awards Ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion on Thursday. The organization awarded the top businesses plans from across the state in the start-up, existing and creative business plan categories. Winners were:

Creative Business Plan of the Year sponsored by Colorado Creative Industries: Chris Fisher,, an online image printing business focused on enabling general consumers and small businesses with the ability to customize and print their images for the purpose of wall art décor

Startup Business Plan of the Year sponsored by Colorado Lending Source: Steve & Kim Duty, Cheese+Provisions, a cut-to-order cheese shop with an emphasis on American farmstand cheeses

Existing Business Plan of the Year sponsored by ACCION: John Bridenbaugh, Altitude Paddleboards, a family-owned stand up paddleboarding company located in Littleton stocked with high quality exposy and inflatable boards, fixed and adjustable standup boards, and accessories

The Colorado LEADING EDGE program offers strategic planning courses through the SBDC network for start-up and existing businesses throughout the state. The courses offer comprehensive training to small business owners, providing them with a better understanding the aspects necessary to successfully manage their business. The course consists of 10-12 training workshops and requires each participant to attend one-on-one business consulting sessions and complete a business plan. 
In 2015, through the assistance of the SBDC, graduates from the LEADING EDGE program created and/or retained 608 jobs, started 29 businesses, obtained over $1.6 million in loans, and were awarded over $3.5 million in contracts. This economic impact would not be possible without the continued support provided by the SBDC community, sponsors, partners, consultants, and volunteers. 

In addition to the graduates and business plan awardees, the Colorado SBDC Network recognized the Consultant of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Sponsor of the Year:

Consultant of the Year: Ron O’Herron, Pikes Peak SBDC

Volunteer of the Year: Alexis Lee, Southern Colorado SBDC

 Sponsor of the Year: Andrea Amonick, City of Aurora (host of the Aurora-South Metro Denver SBDC)
The event would not be possible without the support of generous LEADING EDGE sponsors. Food was provided in part by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. Beverages were provided by Left Hand Brewing, Tivoli Brewing, Red Leg Brewing, and Wild Women Wine. Cash awards for the top business plans were provided by Colorado Creative Industries, ACCION, and Colorado Lending Source. 

For more information about the Leading Edge program or the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network, visit or call 303-592-5920.

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