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Early Education Small Business Program

Through innovative partnerships with several Hampton Roads cities, the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has developed a state and nationally-recognized business mentoring and training program. This program, similar to a “mini-MBA program,” is specifically focused on early education childcare providers and gives them the knowledge, understanding and tools necessary to operate a sustainable and profitable small business. The success of the year-long course is attributed to providing the business owners a combination of industry-specific small business management training, as well as, intensive one-on-one mentoring. The program helps business owners operate more efficiently, thus allowing them and their directors, to devote more resources to improving the quality of the instruction they provide to children in their care, which ultimately benefits our community as a whole. Through the successes of this program, the availability of high-quality early childcare has been increased for children and their families, with a focus on centers that receive subsidized child care through the Virginia Department of Social Services.

The SBDC Early Education Small Business Program consists of three major components:

One-on-One Mentoring

Directors and/or owners meet with an SBDC Business Counselor to develop and work toward achieving business goals, streamline operations, and implement industry best practices. 

Industry-Specific Business Training

Participants in the program attend a business management course specifically developed for early education childcare providers. Participants improve their level of understanding of complex business and management processes in the key operational areas of: accounting, marketing, human resource management and leadership.

Essential Business Services

A key element of this program’s success is the provision of services, such as website and logo design, signage, accounting software, and budget preparation. These critical, yet often overlooked, aspects of a business have a direct impact, both on the profitability of the business, as well as, both the actual and perceived quality of the operation.

For more information about the Early Education Small Business Program, please contact Lauren Small, SBDC Business Analyst, at lsmall@hrccva.com or (757) 618-9218 or Jennifer Cahoon, Program Coordinator, at jcahoon@hrccva.com or (757) 664-2596.