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Trent Lott National Center

USM Small Business Development Center

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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 Economic Development 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. Our USM SBDC team includes Certified Counselor Rita Mitchell, Counselor Joma Shelby, and support from Southern Regional MS SBDC Director Connie Whitt. 

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 192 clients, spending an average of almost 6 hours per client, with 15 business starts and 108 jobs and almost 3 million dollars of Pine Belt Capital Infusion created. In our Business Series 101 workshops, the Center hosted 36 events with 586 total attendees.

The USM SBDC began 2019 with similar client demand, and with the popular return of Business Series 201 workshops, beginning with Introduction to Intellectual Property Law, Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents in early April, along with a Social Media 201 Workshop planned for late Spring. 

The USM SBDC plans for an even MORE progressive 2019, with 2 counselors now serving over 80 new clients in addition to continuing to serve hundreds of 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 rita.a.mitchellFREEeagles.Mississippi.  





 "Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration through The University of Mississippi. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or The University of Mississippi."

Contact Us

Trent Lott National Center
Hattiesburg Campus
2nd Floor

Physical Address
6197 Hwy 49
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Mailing Address
118 College Drive #5191
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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