Skip to main content

Small Business Beginnings

Small business is a vital part of South Dakota’s economy, representing nearly 97% of all employers and more than 60% of the state’s private sector workforce. SDSU Extension has developed a series of tools designed to provide technical assistance to early stage entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and existing small firms. These tools assist business owners in determining the feasibility of a proposed business venture and creating a solid business plan to support it.

Small Business Beginnings Workshops

Five workshops with fifteen hours of specific instruction, facilitated group discussion, internet demonstrations and guest presentations.

The goals of this program are to:

a business front with a green coming soon sign on it
Small business start up.
  • Introduce the concepts of business feasibility, market analysis and business planning.
  • Facilitate awareness of state and federal laws concerning business formation, taxation, labor issues and special licensing requirements.
  • Teach basic financial statements, calculate various ratios that determine business health and apply management practices that improves business performance.
  • Facilitate discussion of standard lending criteria, investor networks and financing programs available from local, state and federal sources.
  • Provide a framework for creating or updating a business plan. Learn what new residents are looking for as they relocate to a rural community.

Local Business Mentor Network

After a community has hosted a Small Business Beginnings program, SDSU Extension will provide on-going support to participants by assisting with the creation of a Local Business Mentoring Network where business owners, local Economic Development Corporations and SDSU Extension staff can meet periodically (either virtually or in person) for facilitated group discussions on business topics selected locally. SDSU Extension will also connect the Mentor Network electronically through quarterly e-newsletters and social media updates that contain resources, news and tips for business owners.

Request this program from a Community Vitality Field Specialist near you:

  • Kari O’Neill (605.685.6972) Martin, SD
  • Peggy Schlechter (605.394.1722) Rapid City, SD
  • Kenneth Sherin (605.995.7378) Mitchell, SD
  • Paul Thares (605.374.4177) Lemmon, SD

Related Information and Resources

Customized resources are also available to meet your Community Vitality Goals.