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No Man Is an Island: Don’t Singlehandedly Start Your Own Business: Use the Duquesne Small Business Development Center

October 2, 2012


Zoma Ogbonna,



(Part 1 in a Series)

       So you’ve got a great business idea, but you don’t know where to go or what to do next?  Family and friends congratulate you on being so ingenious but no one owns a business and no one knows where to direct you. What you need is support before the light bulb on your idea goes out, or flashes before someone else’s eyes.

In the  Weirton-Wheeling-Pittsburgh region, there’s a whole network of people ready and willing to help you turn your incredible idea into a successful business.    You are not imposing. They want to help.

This is part one in a series of blog posts that will inform you of some of the centers that are available to help you muster up the resources, financial plan and energy to open your first business.

Take if from us.  Salene relied on and continues to rely on many of these resources to open the MAZURKRAEMER LAW firm  in 2009.

Duquesne University Small Business Development Center

The Duquesne Small Business Development Center (“DSBDC”) offers free confidential consulting services and training workshops for new and established small businesses in southwestern Pennsylvania.  As a non-profit organization, DSBDC is funded on the federal level by the Small Business Administration and on the state level by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.  DSBDC also receives financial support through Duquesne University.  DSBDC programs assist small business owners in starting a business, growing a business and exit planning.

DSBDC Programs and Services for the community include:

1.                  Management Consulting

The DSBC offers a First Step essentials workshop, along with valuable resources and consulting services.  Targeting new businesses and entrepreneurs, the First Step essentials workshop runs for two to three hours and provides new owners with the necessary information to make any business successful. The workshops are offered at the DSBDC office in Pittsburgh, as well as in Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties.

 2.                  Training Workshops

Training workshops are also available to address the needs of small business owners. These workshops touch on various aspects of running a business such as learning how to use Quickbooks, closing deals, letters of credit, export financing and payment methods, as well as many others.  Here is the training workshop calendar.

3.                  Program for Existing Mon Valley Businesses

Running over the course of 20 weeks, the Mon Valley Outreach Program provides existing Mon Valley area  small business owners with strategies to increase sales and profits, along with free, structured, one on one consulting services and mentoring assistance.

4.                  International Business Operations Program

Market consulting and training workshops are ways in which the DSBDC provides entry to export assistance to manufacturing and high technology companies.

5.                  Environmental Management Assistance Program (“EMAP”)

EMAP provides free confidential environmental energy assistance to small businesses for managing environmental concerns and regulatory risks. A step by step program is also offered to help small business owners realize energy cost savings.

6.                  Specialized Consulting for Technology Firms

Customized services are available for those advancing, protecting and commercializing new research and technology. These services include: business development assistance, Intellectual Property guidance, management growth, and financial planning.

Fees and Financial Support:

There is no cost associated with receiving consulting services through DSBDC.  However, there are fees charged for the seminars and workshops. Prices vary according to the specific event. A discounted rate is provided for larger events depending on time of registration. Note that there’s even a collection of online educational resources for those who aren’t ready to tell another person of their idea.

Call now before you lose the courage to join the millions of other risk-takers who also had that same sick, nervous feeling when they first started their own businesses.  Don’t DELAY.  For more information, visit You can also reach DSBDC by phone at  (412) 396-1633 [M-F: 8:30am-4:30am] or email at

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