SBA and Savannah State to Promote Small Business Entrepreneurship

Terri Denison, U.S. Small Business AdministrationThe SBA and the SBAC work closely together to support and promote minority-owned businesses in Southeast Georgia. This past Tuesday, the SBA took it a step further by signing an agreement with Savannah State University (SSU) that states that the SBA will work closely with SSU to promote small business entrepreneurship.

SBA District Director Terri Denison, who spoke at the college Tuesday, discussed the SBA’s continued commitment to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for historically black colleges and universities, like SSU, and to support minority-owned businesses as written in the Strategic Alliance Memorandum. However she pointed out that the memorandum “is really just a formality” and that it’s time for the SBA to “roll up our sleeves and find opportunities to move forward in collaboration.”

Savannah State University Provost, Reynold Verret, is excited for the new-found passion and enthusiasm that Denison showed during her talk at the college and said that SSU is more than ready to move in a positive direction. He also stated that “this agreement an example of the faith SBA has in the coastal region.”

The main goal for these two parties is to share resources and promote small business through education, community outreach and awareness of SBA resources afforded to local minority business interests. Denison talked about how they are mainly concerned with what she calls the “three C’s;” access to capital, counseling and training, and contracting assistance. She especially noted how important the counseling and training aspect of the three C’s really is. In fact, it’s just as important — if not more so — than financing. Denison went on to say that the SBA is “extremely fortunate in the Savannah area to have great partners such as SCORE and the University of Georgia’s Small Business Assistance Corporation.”

Jacob Hicks, who was on hand to hear the talk about the joint agreement, is an SSU senior majoring in business management, and was an active participant in the Black Executive Exchange Program sponsored by the National Urban League. He said that spending time with Fortune 500 minority executives was “more than enough incentive to stay in school and get my degree.” Hicks will be graduating next month and beginning a management training program with Sam’s Club two days later. With the right resources, he is well on his way to owning his own business one day.

For companies like the SBA, SBAC, and SCORE, it’s a great feeling to know what a difference they’re making for driven young people like Jacob. Through cooperation and attention to detail, the success of a new generation of small business owners is on the horizon.


Source: Mary Carr Mayle for