In the Community, Membership Meetings, Press Releases

WIFS of Northeast Florida hosts a discussion on Business Ownership Success

hosts a discussion on

Jacksonville FL – March 22 2015….Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS) March Lunch & Learn entitled “Helping Small Businesses Grow and Succeed” was held on Tuesday March 10, 2015.  Tara Showalter, President of the Northeast Florida Chapter of WIFS kicked off the lunch by introducing Cathy Hagan, Area Director of the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida (UNF).   “The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at UNF offers entrepreneurs access to business solutions that help them grow and succeed.  Thus, we wanted to share its very valuable services; the SBDC not only assists potential owners in getting their businesses started, but also helps entrepreneurs make sound decisions on an ongoing basis,” said Showalter.

Hagan’s began her presentation by statingAs professionals in the financial services industry, many of you work with individuals who own (or want to own) businesses.  And oftentimes, they may come to you with issues related to the business that is outside the scope of what you can do for them.   Connecting these business owners/entrepreneurs to the FSBC gives them access to professional business consultants with real-world experience and expertise to help them make smart business decisions.”

In addition to UNF, Florida’s SBDC network has more than 40 offices — from Pensacola to Key West — and at no or low cost, motivated entrepreneurs and emerging business owners have access to a team of professional, experienced and credentialed business consultants, robust databases and research resources who can help them successfully navigate the obstacles that come with innovating, launching, growing, renewing and transitioning a business.  “For example, for people thinking about starting a business, the SBDC offers low cost training and access to tools and resources to help evaluate a business idea and make sound business decisions in pursuit of their entrepreneurial dream,” elaborated Hagan. “Then, once the business is open, the SBDC has the resources and expertise to guide businesses relative to strategic planning, marketing, ongoing operations and ultimately devising an exit strategy.”

After a robust question and answer period, Christina Loddo Epstein, WIFS President Elect, closed the Lunch and Learn by remarking, “It was exciting to learn that SBDC consultants work one-on-one with business owners who want to grow and expand as well as work with mature businesses to identify new business opportunities, chart new paths, and plan for the long-term future.  After all, one of our key goals as financial services professionals is to ensure that an owner reaps all the benefits of his/her hard work.”