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Northern Virginia’s tech start-ups are getting a big boost these days, thanks to George Mason University.
Through the Mason Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Mason Enterprise Center – part of GMU’s Office of Research and Economic Development – hundreds of small businesses looking to drive IT innovation get assistance with business plans, marketing strategies, financial analysis, capital access and other needs.
It’s all part of a statewide effort through which more than 4,400 business owners/manager received one-on-one counseling in 2010. Those businesses reaped rewards – specifically an estimated $37 million in loans obtained, $66 million in total capital formation, no less than 4,800 jobs created/retained and $100 million in increased sales. Listen to our conversation about the GMU’s Small Business Development Center.
About our guest: Mona Anita Olsen is the assistant director of the Mason Small Business Development Center. She is also the founder of iMADdu (“I Make a Difference, Do You?”), an educational nonprofit that provides mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities to aspiring student entrepreneurs.
Previously, Mona worked as a worldwide sales analyst for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. She is a PhD Candidate at the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, specializing in entrepreneurship education. Awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to Norway for 2012-2013, Mona will also explore the plausibility of using apprenticeship models to teach about innovation in traditional, university-level entrepreneurship courses.
This interview was hosted by Dennis McCafferty, Director of Content for W2 Communications, a high tech PR agency. Find out more about our full service communications offerings. Subscribe to our “Tech Connections: Five Minutes With …” series on iTunes.