A 2012 SBA study found that entrepreneurship, growth, and unemployment are intertwined. Unemployment can spur entrepreneurship and growth, as displaced workers successfully transition into self-employment and business ownership

Targeted Services for Unemployed

Understanding the unique challenges faced by unemployed individuals seeking to start their own business, the SBDCs provide services tailored to their specific needs:

  • Through the our resource partners, SBDC consultants help you address concerns unique to your situation such as repairing credit, finding healthcare options, and looking at more non-traditional sources of financing
  • Partnerships often enable the SBDC to offer our First Step workshop to you at no charge. You must mention your situation during registration in order to have the fee waived.
  • Free online training will walk you some of the things you need to consider to get started, including business plan preparation, franchising basics, and accessing credit.
  • Free, confidential one-on-one consulting will help you assess the feasibility of your business idea and assess the realities of your financing options.

To find your local SBDC, click here.

Unemployment Benefits

  • If you are receiving unemployment compensation benefits, you may jeopardize your eligibility for benefits if you take any steps toward self-employment.
  • We strongly suggest reviewing the Department of Labor's Benefit Eligibility with respect to self-employment. Contact your local Pennsylvania CareerLink before taking any action to start a business so you do not risk losing your benefits.
  • The Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) was a terrific opportunity for an unemployed person to start a business while receiving unemployment compensation, but it has since been eliminated.

Featured Success Stories

Keggle Brewing

Terry Denham is following up his longtime passion for making home-brewed beer into a successful business. Combining this passion with his 25 years of management and business experience, Terry and his wife Patricia now operate Keggle Brewing, Inc from their home in Glenshaw, Pa.Terry first came to the SBDC as…


Joe Serkoch and Chris Lewis lost their corporate positions producing television commercials. Their entire department was eliminated due to cutbacks related to the down economy.With only two months until their official separation date, the enthusiastic young professionals teamed up with a local freelance web designer. Collectively they founded and built…
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