USM Small Business Development Center

The USM Small Business Development Center provides training workshops and one-on-one counseling to pre-venture clients, prospective entrepreneurs, micro-businesses, and small to medium size businesses who wish to grow or expand. Opened in March 2015, the USM SBDC has experienced great success and is enthusiastically supported by the USM College of Business and the Trent Lott National Center. The Small Business Development Center supports business clients and interests within Clarke, Covington, Forrest, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamas, Marion, Perry and Wayne Counties. The lead Certified Counselor is Rita Mitchell, assisted by MS SBDC Assistance Director Mitch McDowell and the Gulf Coast SBDC Team.

The USM SBDC is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration that provides services in the form of small business one-on-one no charge confidential counseling and college-level business development workshops, which include:

  • Starting a Business … First Steps.
  • How to Develop a Business Plan.
  • Cash Flow Projections for Your Business Plan.
  • Think Like an Entrepreneur.

Plus, other current business-topical interest inclusions as interest and demand indicate.

This past calendar year, the USM SBDC counseled 181 clients, spending an average of almost 7 hours per client, with 17 business starts and 99 jobs created. In our Business Series 101 workshops, the Center hosted 35 events with 570 total attendees.

The USM SBDC began 2018 with similar client demand and with the exciting introduction of Business Series 201 workshops, beginning with Introduction to Intellectual Property Law -  a new seminar which attracted 39 attendees.

The USM SBDC plans for an even MORE progressive 2018, with 55 new clients in addition to continuing to serve existing and long-term clients from our previous years.


To request a one-on-one counseling session or register for a small business workshop, contact Rita Mitchell at 1-800-725-7232 or 601-266-5892.


For more information, access, OR to sign up for new business counseling and workshops, please email