Small Business Association Honors Scranton’s SBDC Consultant Manager

05/27/10

     Donna Simpson, consultant manager with The University of Scranton’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), was named by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Philadelphia District Office as the Women in Business Champion of the Year.

      A resident of Olyphant, Simpson has been a member of the SBDC staff since 1993. She coordinates a variety of programs, including the SBDC’s “Award for Woman Entrepreneur,” which she helped to create. She is also responsible for the SBDC’s “Women Win!” series of educational seminars.

     An accounting specialist, Simpson says her mission is to share with small business the knowledge she reaped during her 30-year business career. In her position at the SBDC, she impacts all facets of the entrepreneur ventures that seek SBDC’s assistance while offering consultations, seminars and information resources. “This is the best job I’ve ever had,” said Simpson. “We help people to start and grow their business and, as part of this, I’m a big supporter of the global women’s movement.”

     Simpson explained how the SBDC’s role has changed during the recent turbulent economic times. “The SBDC wants business ventures to be successful and the truth about financing or the viability of a business plan ensures that success,” she said. “We perform honest evaluations of ideas and give reality checks on subjects such as credit. We’re the independent party that needs to be truthful about any grandiose ideas our entrepreneurs may come up with.” Simpson considers the best part of her job is its variety, and the most difficult part is dealing with the tight funding now available to entrepreneurs.

     David Dickson, the SBA’s Philadelphia District director, described Simpson — who was one of many nominees covering 40 counties and 600,000 businesses — as a true counselor for business professionals in need of guidance about issues such as human resources, legalities and finance. He said that most of the people Simpson deals with are involved with start-ups, and that success for these entrepreneurs is vital during a time of recession. “Most small businesses have few specialists they can go to, and Donna does a real yeoman’s job in helping them,” said Dickson.

     Simpson and other award winners were recognized during an “SBA Day at the Ballpark” celebration in Philadelphia earlier in May. An award ceremony and luncheon preceded attendance at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game at Citizens Bank Park.

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