The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses.  The SBDC program is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and 16 universities and colleges across the Commonwealth.


The mission of the network of Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) is to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions and prosper.

Consulting Services

Since its inception in 1980, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) has evolved into a network of 16 university and college-based centers and more than ninety outreach locations operating under the guidance of the Lead Office located at Kutztown University.

The Pennsylvania SBDC provides consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business. SBDC consultants work with entrepreneurs in confidential, one-to-one sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities, and much more.

Program History

Important milestones in the growth of the Pennsylvania SBDC network include:

1980 University of Pennsylvania State Director's Office
Bucknell University SBDC & Engineering Development Services
Lehigh University SBDC
University of Pittsburgh SBDC
University of Scranton SBDC
Wharton SBDC
Wilkes University SBDC
1981 Clarion University SBDC
Duquesne University SBDC
Gannon University SBDC
1982 Temple University SBDC
1983 Saint Francis University SBDC
1987 Government Marketing Assistance Program begins
Pennsylvania SBDC receives ASBDC certification for the first time
1988 Saint Vincent College SBDC
1991 WISE Program begins
1992 Kutztown University SBDC
1993 Pennsylvania SBDC re-certified by ASBDC
1997 Lock Haven University SBDC
Pennsylvania State University SBDC
Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) begins
1998 Pennsylvania SBDC re-certified by ASBDC
2000 General Assembly appropriates, and Governor Ridge supports, funding to expand the Environmental Management Assistance Program statewide
2003 Pennsylvania SBDC accredited by ASBDC
Governor Rendell recommends a $400,000 increase (7%) for the Pennsylvania SBDC for FY 2004 in the face of a $2 billion deficit
Indiana University SBDC
2004 Material Trader website launched
Re-branding initiative launched
2005 Ask EMAP launched
2006 SBDC client sales increase surpasses $1.3 billion
Pennsylvania SBDC accredited by ASBDC including Technology accreditation
Six PA small businesses helped by EMAP win ENERGY STAR Awards (of 8 winners nationally)
2007 Shippensburg University SBDC
Widener University SBDC
Manure Trader website launched
EMAP receives ENERGY STAR Small Business Network Award

Gannon SBDC launces WILD Conference
5 SBDC Clients listed on Inc. 500


Christian Conroy named State Director

Clean Technology Resource Center launched
Technology Commercialization Services re‐launched
Federal Region III Veteran Business Outreach Center launched

Pennsylvania SBDC network awarded full accreditation from the Association of Small Business Development Centers, including supplemental accreditation for its specialized technology services (one of only eight SBDC programs in the country to earn this distinction)

Funding support and resources are provided through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community & Economic Development and through support from the host institutions. All services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals.  Special arrangements for persons with disabilities can be made by calling the SBDC directly at least two weeks in advance. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. SBDC services are not available to individuals or entities that have been debarred or suspended by the federal government.  By agreeing to receive assistance from the SBDC you are self-certifying that you are not currently federally debarred or suspended and also agree to cease using SBDC services if you become federally debarred or suspended in the future.