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Entrepreneurial resource helps to boost economy with small business solutions

by Johari Hamilton

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) is a statewide program offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). It is located inside Southwest Tennessee Community College, and the local branch serves Shelby and Fayette counties. 

According to the website, the organization offers a variety of resources through its mission “to be the premier provider of quality solutions to potential and existing small businesses’ needs through consultation, education, referral, and support services.”

“TSBDC impacts between 2500 to 3000 individuals locally, equipping them with the information they need to go out and start businesses,” said Rory Thomas, executive director of TSBDC Memphis. 

Courtesy Photo of Rory Thomas

“Small businesses account for the majority of new jobs,” added Thomas. 

“The biggest benefit is the economic impact the organization has on small businesses to create more jobs in the local community.”

With an emphasis on economic impact, women-owned businesses are on the rise.

“I see more and more women starting and growing small businesses, well over 60 percent of TSBDC clients are women business owners. I see that continuing this year and this decade,” emphasized Thomas.

New business owners have to plan ahead and market research is one of the components to establishing a business. 

Potential customers look for businesses with solutions to their needs. According to a recent study, “not solving a market need” is the # 1 reason startups fail.

“The University of Texas at San Antonio provides cost-free research for TSBDC clients,” stated Thomas. 

Entrepreneurs and small business owners will have an opportunity to learn more about resources at National SDBC Day on March 18.

The celebration is free and will include food, networking with business and community leaders. 

The event will be hosted at Southwest Tennessee Community College. More details are forthcoming. 

To learn more about TSBDC visit the website at

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