NAMPA, Idaho — I'm excited to tell you about a valuable free resource for entrepreneurs in Idaho.
It's called the Small Business Development Center. I keep hearing about it from the businesses we profile here each week, so if you've ever thought you'd like to start a business or have a business that could use some help - listen up.
"We originally discovered the incubator three years ago. Found it on Craigslist," said Gabe Bentz.
Gabe Bentz owns Slant 3D, a new and growing Idaho business, one of only two 3D printing farms in the entire country. Here at the Nampa Idaho Small Business Development Center Incubator he has his own business consultant at no cost, and low-cost rent.
"It allows you a flexibility and a set of resources that otherwise are very expensive to find and create and adjust with," Bentz said.
Perhaps the best kept secret in Idaho, according to Bentz and other entrepreneurs who have taken advantage of all SBDC has to offer.
"Somebody who's starting their business or looking to grow their business, they need help. Nobody's superman, so that's what we're there for," said Steven Miller, SBDC Regional Director.
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“We typically work with businesses through the life cycle of the business,” said SBDC consultant David McCauley.
"We have people who are just beginning and people who are on the back cycle," said McCauley.
He uses his extensive business background to give clients like Bentz invaluable perspective and practical help.
"We have expertise and then we have an entire network throughout the state at the SBDC," said McCauley.
"Very recently we've been looking to hire some folks and David's been a resource in who to talk to, different resources around the community to find good engineers, designers, good sales folks," said Bentz.
"The consultants that we have are fantastic and we're fond of saying well I probably know the answer but if I don't I bet I know someone who does," said Miller.
"Sometimes we're part therapist where it's like I just need a moment to vent, sometimes it's business we talk about financing, I need a bookkeeper and sometimes it's just I got this really cool idea can you talk me out of it or talk me into it," said McCauley.
"We have data that we've collected that shows a significant difference in business results between businesses in Idaho who have not contacted us and sought our help compared to clients that have come to see us. It is statistically proven that if people take advantage of what we have to offer their chances for success are much, much higher," said Miller.
"Somebody whose outside the circle is always great just to say there's a reality here that you're just missing because you're so focused on that little point," said Bentz.
"It's never dull, it's super fun meeting people who are so excited and enthusiastic about a thing and then helping them turn that passion into a business and something they can do as their job for the rest of their lives, and that's fun," said McCauley.
The SBDC gets its funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the state of Idaho, Boise State University, and all of the state's colleges and universities.
There's the incubator in Nampa and also one in the heart of downtown Boise.
Coming up on March 12, SBDC is offering its business base camp, a two-hour workshop aimed at discovering the feasibility of your business idea. It's free and will be held at the Boise location.
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