In this captivating episode, host David Ponraj is joined by Sharon Nichols, State Director at the Mississippi Small Business Development Center.

The Mississippi SBDC is the gateway to, and premier provider of, small business assistance and resources that lead to success and entrepreneurial growth throughout the state. Their mission is to foster Mississippi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem; providing businesses with expertise and resources that drive success. Sharon discusses that SBDCs, generally, are tasked to do a huge array of work but the breadth isn’t deep. This is why she notes that Mississippi SBDC is serving as the gateway to entrepreneurship at the right time.

Sharon also mentions the importance of SSBCI, the State Small Business Credit Initiative. Some entrepreneurs do not know how to do financial applications, and with SSBCI, these needs are identified and addressed. The Mississippi SBDC is looking forward to helping those who are getting seed funding to receive mechanisms that provide Technical Assistance (TA) so that the funding can effectively add jobs, retain jobs, and increase business success.

The conversation ends with Sharon describing that she has learned many lessons in her professional career, and remarks that if you focus on what you can’t do, it’ll be difficult to improve. But if you focus on what you can do, you’ll make a true difference.

Connect with Sharon Nichols on her LinkedIn, and check out ConnectMS, one of Sharon’s many initiatives to connect small businesses to the right resources at the right time, with resources powered by Startup Space.

About Breaking Down Barriers
A Podcast About Entrepreneurship-Led Economic Development
This podcast explores entrepreneurship as part of the economic developer’s toolkit for building prosperity in our communities. Episodes feature changemakers with innovative approaches to building ecosystems and improving the environment to empower people to start and grow their businesses. Conversations focus on breaking down barriers that limit entrepreneurship in underserved and historically excluded communities. We seek authentic stories to understand the profound impact of entrepreneurship-led economic development on the local economy and spotlight a network of passionate leaders advancing the field. Find out more at economicimpactcatalyst.com/impact

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