Students, faculty, community members, and board members attended the Small Business Developmental Center’s (SBDC), a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning in affiliation with the Stillman School of Business.
Seton Hall University is the first branch affiliated with a private, secondary education institution, according to a press release from the university.
The SBDC’s objective within the University is to help small business owners and students to experience firsthand small business practices.
As the SBDC introduces concepts into business programs within the Stillman School of Business, they plan on expanding. SBDC’s vision is for the center to expand across campus and include the College of Arts and Sciences.
The center took two years to be implemented into Seton Hall with help from alumni.
Steven Gomez ‘09, is among the alumni who strongly advocated for the center’s installation in Seton Hall. He took a key leadership role in the program. When asked what inspired him to join this project Gomez said, “As an alumni, as a former small business owner, and as somebody who supports small businesses in the area, I see the value that Seton Hall has to offer and I wanted to make sure that we could share that with the larger community.”
Many of the clients coming and receiving services from the SBDC became students. Along with Seton Hall, Rutgers University and Ramapo University have partnered with the SBDC to further the center’s outreach into surrounding areas. South Orange Village is involved in the center as well, and has the opportunity to utilize and collaborate through the business school, according to Gomez. Through the passion and dedication of faculty members at Seton Hall and the center’s board members, the SBDC is expected to positively affect students and the community in a massive way.
Dean Joyce Strawser, the dean of the Stillman School of Business was also vital in implementing SBDC at Seton Hall.
“Here at the Stillman School we have a program in entrepreneurship where students are learning to start businesses, we also have a market research center that provides market research services to small businesses and clients as well as consulting, so for us it helps give our students that exposure to what’s really going on with businesses and the real challenges they face,” Strawser said.
Her fervor, among many other contributors, was critical to pushing for SBDC at Seton Hall. The partnership between the SBDC and the business school it is an opportunity for the center to grow and help as many members of the community as it can, according to Strawser.
Sophie Leonetti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.