1. What is the Research Valley SBDC ?

2. How can the center help my new business?

3. My business has been established for some time. How can the center help me?

4. Does the center charge for its services?

5. Why was the SBDC created?

6. How can the SBDC offer free consulting services?

The Research Valley Small Business Development Center (BV SBDC) is part of a national SBDC program that provides free business consulting and affordable training seminars to small and medium-sized business owners and managers. The Research Valley SBDC serves Brazos, Burleson, Milam, and Robertson counties. 

How can the center help me establish  my business?

RV SBDC consultants help entrepreneurs assess their business idea and work through general start-up questions as well as basic management, marketing, financial and operational business issues.  The Research Valley SBDC can also assist you in preparing the necessary documents to apply for either a Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan or a conventional loan. 

The Research Valley SBDC also offers affordable training seminars on business topics for start-up and preventure entrepreneurs. Our training seminars are designed to help broaden your business knowledge and are focused on business basics that will help you make your business a success.

My business has been established for some time. How can the center help me?

Research Valley SBDC consultants help business owners develop strategies, attract customers, increase sales and improve productivity and profitability, all at no cost. Our consultants have extensive, practical experience in varied fields, including marketing, finance, retail and management.

Our center offers affordable training seminars taught by instructors who share their practical business experience with you. Business topics include marketing, finance, management and general start-up.

Does the center charge for its services?

Research Valley SBDC offers free consulting and very affordable training seminars and workshops. 

Why was the SBDC created?

The United States Congress initiated the SBDCs as a pilot program in 1977 to deter the default rate on government guarantee loans. In 1980, the program was formally authorized and written into public law in Section 21 of the Small Business Act. The oversight agency for the SBDC program is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was established in 1953 and is the primary advocate for small business within the federal government. Although the SBA provides many services to small business, currently it is best known for its guaranteed loan programs.

Today in the National SBDC Network, there are 63 state or regional program offices operating over 1,000 full-time SBDC locations and thousands of additional satellite locations. The National SBDC Network employs approximately 4,500 highly skilled professionals. The SBDC is present in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

Most states and territories operate a statewide SBDC program. The state program is administered by a single host organization whose responsibility is to provide services throughout the state by strategically locating full-service SBDC offices or through a "circuit rider" program.  In Texas, however, the SBDC program is divided into four autonomous regional programs or networks. Host institutions operate the regional programs under the guidance of an Executive Director.  The Research Valley SBDC is part of the University of Houston SBDC Network.  

                              TEXAS SBDC REGIONS                               HOST INSTITUTIONS

                              University of Houston SBDC Network                University of Houston

                              North Texas SBDC Network                              Dallas Community College System

                              Northwest Texas SBDC Network                       Texas Tech University

                              South-west Texas Border SBDC Network          University of Texas - San Antonio




How can the SBDC offer free consulting services?

When Congress established the SBDC program, it was given a line item in the federal budget.  Being the oversight agency for SBDC activity, SBA administers the flow of funds.  This means funding flows from the federal budget to SBA which in turn holds a cooperative agreement with each state or regional program office, which in our case is the University of Houston.  The University of Houston contracts with other host institutions to provide services in a grass roots effort to provide free professional business consulting services and low cost training in its 32 county service area.

The host institution for the RV SBDC is the Research Valley Partnership without which the RV-SBDC could not operate.  The Research Valley Partnership provides matching funds to the RV SBDC program and the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce, another vital partner, provides the RV SBDC with free office space and facilities for training.