This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
A Lot for a Little
When leading the life of an entrepreneur, there are few things that provide huge benefits for a small amount of effort. In fact, it’s almost always the opposite — entrepreneurs are used to grinding day-in and day-out for the tiniest returns, especially early on. Fortunately, a few select business owners and entrepreneurs in Baton Rouge got to taste something a little sweeter this year when they participated in SEBD Roundtables at the Louisiana Technology Park. For their time commitment of just a few hours per month, our data showed they saw huge returns for the growth and development of their businesses, and for themselves.
In June of 2018, the first cohort of the Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Roundtables program, which provides a platform for small business owners to meet ten times over the course of a year and engage in peer-to-peer learning, networking, and support, concluded at the Louisiana Technology Park. The program, held through a collaboration between the Tech Park and Louisiana Economic Development (LED), was initiated to help local business owners collaborate with one another and work through various problems, with the ultimate goal of growing their businesses, and themselves.
This first cohort was a runaway success, not only because of the connections that were made and the learning that was facilitated, but because of the tangible growth the businesses involved were able to realize aided by their experience in the program.
The Proof is in the Pudding
Here are some of the detailed highlights* from the program’s first year:
- Eleven graduating companies anticipated creating an additional 31 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs over the next 12 months
- Graduating companies also anticipated collectively increasing annual gross revenue by $7.76 Million over the next 12 months
- Average wage of a typical new hire = $44,200
These figures reflect the ultimate goal of the SEBD Roundtables Program, which is to assist the participants in the growth and sustainability of their companies. Of course, each business owner that goes through the program experiences personal growth as well, as they convene with their peers through discussion of shared experiences, but they ultimately spend the time in this program because it works — the SEBD Roundtables Program produces tangible growth in the businesses of those who participate.