Resources for Entrepreneurs
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance is pleased to support and assist entrepreneurs and emerging companies in Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County. In fact, two of our Councils are focused on these areas. The Entrepreneur Council is focused on "growing our own" and entrepreneurship, while the Corporate Council is focused on growing our established and emerging clusters. For more information regarding how the Alliance can assist your business, please contact the Business Development department at 954-524-3113.
In addition to providing the assistance described above, the Alliance is pleased to provide the following links to local, state and national online resources designed to assist enterpreneurs and small businesses, most of which are free or low cost.
Local and State Resources (Please find national resources below):
Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development(OESBD) works closely with its partners, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Port Everglades, Aviation, the Convention & Visitors Bureau and many other Broward County agencies to promote the county as a first class business destination. www.broward.org/econdev. OESBD also coordinates multiple activities each year to promote business expansion on a global scale. Typical events include inbound and outbound missions to stimulate imports and exports and trade seminars to educate Broward-based small businesses on global opportunities. For information regarding global business development events, please click here.
Broward County Purchasing Division offers Procurement opportunities for those selling a commodity or service and they are constantly seeking new sources of supply. The Purchasing Division contracts for nearly $600 million in goods, services and construction each year. http://www.broward.org/PURCHASING/Pages/Business.aspx
Broward County Enterprise Zone Program offers substantial tax relief and other incentives by locating or expanding into a geographic area targeted by the State for revitalization. http://fortlauderdale.gov/departments/sustainable-development/community-redevelopment-agency/northwest-progresso-flagler-heights-cra/enterprise-zone
Broward County Small Business Development Division promotes the growth of small, minority and women-owned firms by providing innovative programs at a high level of service excellence. www.broward.org/smallbusiness/
Broward County Virtual Entrepreneur Center is a free one-stop shop library for entrepreneurs who are looking for resources on starting, growing or relocating a business. Entrepreneurs can find the latest business resources, including local permitting codes and forms, statewide corporate registration information and federal trademark law. Organizations and companies that provide business services can list their information at no charge to help entrepreneurs find local products and services. Visit www.flvec.com/broward.
City of Coral Springs and Coral Springs Economic Development Foundation have created a video-on-demand series to help local business owners. The series is part of the City’s CSBizAssist program. To view the videos, please click here.
Enterprise Development Corporation's (EDC) mission is to facilitate the creation and growth of science and technology companies that will have a long-term positive economic impact. www.edc-tech.org
The Florida Department of Management Services is Florida's online procurement system designed to create a statewide marketplace for government buyers and vendors to conduct business. www.dms.myflorida.com
Florida First Capital Finance Corp. (FFCFC), founded by the State of Florida and licensed since 1984 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is chartered for the primary purpose of promoting and assisting the growth and development of small business by assisting with the SBA 504 and 7A loan programs as well as the Florida Recycling Loan Program. www.ffcfc.com
Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Florida MEP) is a non-profit service available to every manufacturer in the state to help them compete more effectively in the global marketplace. It offers assistance with improving efficiency, elimination of waste, international certifications, integration into global supply chains and networking Florida businesses with the resources they need to become more profitable. www.floridamep.org
Florida Power & Light Company helps entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and prosper with their PoweringFlorida® Small Business Tool. This local business intelligence tool is designed to help small and medium-sized business owners compare themselves to their competition and make intelligent business decisions. The web-based app is imbedded in PoweringFlorida.com and provides comprehensive market analysis designed to allow companies to benchmark themself against the competition; identify and map potential customers and suppliers; map demographics, labor force and consumer expenditure data; and find the best places to advertise. See more at: http://www.poweringflorida.com/smallbiztool.
Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council is a not-for-profit corporation established to foster the development and expansion of minority-owned businesses. The organization is committed to building mutually beneficial relationships between minority businesses and corporate and government buyers. www.sfmsdc.org
Metro Broward Economic Development Corporation offers alternative financing through credit enhancement to minorities who cannot obtain conventional loans. The facility also offers a small business incubator for emerging professional services companies. www.metrobroward.org
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Minority Business Development Agency provides management, technical assistance, construction services, free seminars and training. The MBDA is an SBA-certified loan intermediary that helps to prequalify and obtain loans and bonding. The MBDA also helps to find government and corporate contracts and helps to prepare bids and various government certifications. www.mbda.gov
The SBA's Office of Business Development offers qualified businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals assistance in bidding for competitive contracts. www.sba.gov/localresources/district/fl/south
Research Park at Florida Atlantic University Partners are able to interact with the University community and take advantage of its facilities, technology transfer and expertise. Typical programs include applied and joint funded research, customized educational programs, availability of faculty and students to work for the industry partner on a part-time basis, and the participation of the industry partner's professional staff in advanced degree programs. http://www.research-park.org/
SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" offers free and confidential small business advice. www.BrowardSCORE.org
Small Business Development Center Fort Lauderdale The Small Business Development Center Fort Lauderdale provides business consultation services to small and medium sized businesses looking to grow. Our mission is to help businesses develop their business model, strategize their goals and help them execute and exceed those goals. www.SBDCFortLauderdale.org
South Florida Regional Planning Council identifies the long-term challenges and opportunities facing Southeast Florida and assists the region's leaders in developing and implementing creative strategies that result in more prosperous and equitable communities. Also provides financing assistance through the organization's revolving loan fund. www.sfrpc.com
U.S. Dept. of Commerce/Florida Export Assistance Center provides counseling and a variety of products and services to assist small and mid-size U.S. businesses export their products and services. www.buyusa.gov/florida/
AllBusiness provides information regarding various aspects of running a small business. Topics include starting a business, sales and marketing, finance, buying and selling a business, insurance, technology, etc. Business forms and guides are also available for purchase. http://www.allbusiness.com/
Business Week Small Biz provides news and advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners. http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/index.html
ConnnectAmericas.com is a free, online business platform and the first social network for businesses in the Americas, dedicated to promoting foreign trade and international investment.
Entrepreneur.com provides information and resources on a number of topics including starting a business, management, marketing and money. http://www.entrepreneur.com/
EntrepreneurialConnection.com provides ideas and insights for entrepreneurs and small business owners. http://www.entrepreneurialconnection.com/default.asp
Entrepreneurship.org The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the U.S. Commerce Department's International Trade Administration (ITA) have formed a new public-private partnership focused on leveraging best practices in entrepreneurial leadership to advance economic growth around the world. http://www.entrepreneurship.org/
My Own Business, Inc. is a nonprofit organization committed to helping people succeed in business. The website provides information for free or at nominal cost. http://www.myownbusiness.org/
National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation is one of the leading sources of information about small business in the United States. The foundation conducts research about policy-related issues as well as the business practices and economic impact of small firms through its Small Business Economic Trends reports and other economic research studies. http://www.nfib.com/tabid/83/default.aspx
SBA Financial Assistance provides information on a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses. www.sba.gov/content/what-sba-offers-help-small-businesses-grow
SBA Market and Price provides information about all aspects of marketing including market research, marketing strategy and targeted marketing. http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/manage/marketandprice/index.html
SBA Planner provides guidance on the tools and resources necessary to write a winning business plan and other information. http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/index.html
SCORE is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide. http://www.score.org/index.html
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created as an independent agency of the federal government to counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. http://www.sba.gov/
SBDCNet National Information Clearing House serves as a resource providing timely, relevant research, web-based information and training to SBDC counselors and their small business clients. http://sbdcnet.org/
USA.gov/business helps small businesses understand their legal requirements and locate government services supporting the nation's small business community. https://www.usa.gov/business
The Wall Street Journal Small Business How-to Guide provides information for small businesses on a variety of topics including funding, technology, franchising, starting a business and hiring and managing employees. http://guides.wsj.com/small-business/