Kentucky’s Economic Gardening Program Off To A Productive Start

  • By creekmoremarketing
  • 31 Jul, 2015

In April of 2014, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center in partnership with the   Community and Economic Development Initiative in Kentucky   launched the   Grow Kentucky program   and received overwhelming interest from throughout the Commonwealth. The center and initiative are part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Typically a region’s economic growth is based on attracting new large scale companies, often via offers of tax incentives and workforce development services. By contrast, Grow Kentucky focuses on aiding established growth-oriented companies with strategic issues such as developing new markets, refining business models and accessing competitive intelligence. Small businesses with longevity and a goal to expand are often referred to as second stage businesses. Such companies generally engage 10 to 99 employees and generate from one to 50 million dollars in annual revenues.

Jamie and Steve Bryant, owners of   B-Books.com , a book packaging company based in Covington, KY were among those with a piqued interest in the new program. The Bryant’s company had the potential, it was direction they needed.

As a small business with a small staff, we are often so focused on execution that, despite our best intentions, we are unable to map a clear path to growth. Even when we know what we want to do, we often lack access to the information that will help us make the best strategic decisions.

– Jamie Bryant, B-Books.com

Knowing that information is the new currency of economic development, the Grow Kentucky network acquires advanced business intelligence tools that second stage companies either can’t afford on their own or are not aware of. The program specialists assist in the four key areas of information: strategic market research, social media marketing, search engine optimization and geographic information systems.

Our business is unique in that it is comprised of very different parts. We publish  Kiki magazine  for tween and teen girls, and we develop educational products – books, workbooks, assessments – for major U.S. academic publishers. Through the Grow Kentucky process we’ve started to get a real sense of how to develop each side of the business, how and where to invest resources.

– Jamie Bryant, B-Books.com

Grow Kentucky specialists function as an extension of the companies they work with, identifying issues that are hindering growth and connecting them with the new tools, concepts and information for making decisions that lead to successful expansion. Open communications are essential during the initial meetings between entrepreneurs and the specialists. Learning the owners’ background, company structure, goals and growth issues all combine to provide actionable information for the companies. There is constant contact throughout this ongoing relationship which leads to the other key component of the program – speed – and getting the answers business owners need in hours versus days or weeks.

Since our start in the program we’ve gained a better understanding of how to use specific information to make better strategic choices. It’s important for us to understand where the best opportunities are so we can focus our efforts appropriately. The Grow Kentucky program is helping us do that – and do that better than we have in the past.

– “Jamie

Grow Kentucky is a customized set of tools that bore into a company’s products, services and competitors, and delivers valuable insights for achieving strategic growth. The program’s services merge an assessment and advice on core business strategies, and the management team to provide “the big picture” strategy for successful growth.

Nationally, Economic Gardening client companies have averaged a 20% positive revenue growth as a result of their participation in the program. The center and initiative staffs are certified as Economic Gardening specialists for Kentucky by the Lowe Foundation. A typical program engagement takes from four to six weeks and is usually conducted through face-to-face meetings and/or teleconferencing.

We’ve derived tremendous benefit from the program and we’re only part of the way through it. We would tell another small business owner considering the program to sign up right away so they can gain access to the information and tools usually just out of reach, and learn how to put them to good use, then that small business can grow into a midsize one!

– Jamie Bryant, B-Books.com

Learn How GrowKentucky Can Help Your Business

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

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By Robbi Meisel 20 Feb, 2017
MURRAY, Ky., (Feb. 2017) — Chris Wooldridge, Kentucky Small Business Development Center district director for the Murray State University SBDC and Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, has joined the board of directors of the Foundation for Kentucky Industry.

FKI is a statewide, not-for-profit, with the goal of strengthening manufacturing in Kentucky, a very important economic driver in the commonwealth. FKI’s Board of Directors is comprised of manufacturing, education, economic development and public policy leaders.
Project and program partners currently include LIFT (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow), JPMorgan Chase, KY FAME (Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education), business and public partners.

“We are pleased to announce Chris Wooldridge, District Director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center at the Murray State University Bauernfeind College of Business, will be joining the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Kentucky Industry. Mr. Wooldridge’s experience and expertise regarding business and economic development will be a great asset to the Foundation’s work of maximizing career opportunities for both Kentuckians and industry in 21st century manufacturing,” according to Mary C. Breeding, President and CEO, Foundation for Kentucky Industry (FKI).

About Murray State University SBDC: Murray State University hosts the West Kentucky Region of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center program.  KSBDC is a network of 12 offices located throughout the state that helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. The KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .
By Robbi Meisel 06 Jan, 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Jan. 5, 2017) – The Kentucky Small Business Development Center significantly contributed to the state and federal economy during the 2014-15 fiscal year, according to an independent study conducted by James J. Chrisman, professor of management, Mississippi State University. The study was completed in June 2016 and shows that small businesses working with the center increased sales and employment figures at a greater percentage than an average business in Kentucky. KSBDC clients increased sales by 14.4 percent versus 3.8 percent, and increased employment levels by 15.1 percent compared to 1.5 percent.

Other findings from the Chrisman study:

  • KSBDC clients created 1,156 new jobs.
  • For every dollar invested in the program, $2.63 returned to the economy.
  • For every dollar invested in KSBDC counseling services, $9.47 returned to the economy.
  • KSBDC clients obtained $58.9 million in financing.
  • KSBDC clients increased incremental sales in Kentucky by $108.4 million.
  • KSBDC clients generated $8.55 million dollars in state and federal tax revenue.
  • Clients gave KSBDC staff a 4.7 on a 5-point scale for knowledge and expertise.
  • Clients recommended KSBDC services 98 percent of the time.

“KSBDC staff work very hard to serve Kentucky small businesses. We are very proud of the results of this independent, third-party research and are very pleased with the impact produced by our network,” said Becky Naugle, state director.

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 13 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .

 

Writer: Roberta Meisel , 859-257-7668

 

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

 

By Robbi Meisel 18 Oct, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Oct. 18, 2016) –The Office of Veterans Business Development recognized Patricia Krausman, director of the Elizabethtown Small Business Development Center, as one of the six most outstanding instructors for the 2016 Boots 2 Business program.

Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. It is a training track within the U.S. Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. The curriculum provides valuable assistance for transitioning service members who are exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities. The program leads them through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing the foundation required to develop a business plan. In addition, participants are introduced to Small Business Administration partners and resources.

The recognition was based on the instructors’ contributions and dedication to the program and to service members, veterans and spouses in their business ownership endeavors. Nominations for this achievement came from Small Business Administration offices across the country.

Krausman has provided business management consulting and training for more than 20 years. In 2009, she developed and served as the director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center’s Veterans Assistance Program, the resource for veteran business support and advocacy. Additionally, she was chosen as A Veteran’s Small Business Advocate of the Year in 2013 by the Kentucky Small Business Administration. She takes an active role in her work and advocacy, serving as a member of the Kentucky Commission on Small Business Advocacy, the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board and the Governor’s Veterans Interagency Task Force. She was awarded the prestigious Kentucky Association for Economic Development Allied Professional of the Year in 2014.

“The Kentucky Small Business Development Center has a long-standing commitment to veterans and veteran-owned businesses. Boots 2 Business is a program specifically designed by the Small Business Administration and its resource partners to ensure that veterans have expert guidance and direction in their path to entrepreneurship,” Krausman said. “It’s an honor to be included in the recognition of outstanding instructors for the national SBA Boots 2 Business program. Veterans are exceptional entrepreneurs, and it is rewarding to have the opportunity to support them in their successful transition to small-business ownership.”

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 13 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .

 

Photo provided by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center –Patricia Krausman. ©KSBDC

 

Writer: Roberta Meisel , 859-257-7668

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

 

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