Working for Missourians

Last year, MU Extension business specialists provided counseling to 2,417 Missouri clients, training and conference programming to 12,764 participants, and technology and research information through 4.6 million total Web page views.

Business Development Program

Source: MU Extension Annual Report, FY 2009

MU Extension’s Business Development Program each year provides research-based education and technical assistance to thousands of Missouri business owners to help them improve the competitiveness and success of their small businesses.

Last year, the program assisted 15,181 Missourians through individualized business counseling or training. Statewide, the economic benefit from these projects included $211.1 million in increased sales, 2,433 new jobs, $105 million in new financing for client businesses and $434 million in government contracts.

Enthusiasm and positive energy are the trademarks of Marion Hayes III. After many years of dreaming about having his own business, Hayes founded St. Louis-based BRK Electrical Contractors in 2003. Counselors at the St. Louis regional office of the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers were integral to a 12-month planning process before Hayes opened the doors to his three-person shop, which now employs 23 people.

Business Development Program Electrical engineer Marion Hayes III founded his business, BRK Electrical Contractors, in 2003 in St. Louis.

The center’s staff took a team approach to help Hayes achieve his small-business goals, using a combination of counseling in strategic planning, marketing, debt structuring and management. His firm’s ensuing growth is reflected in solid revenues. BRK Electrical’s first-year sales reached an impressive $1.2 million; by 2008, revenues topped $5 million. Despite the overwhelming success he’s found in independent business ownership, Hayes says he still relies on his SBTDC team for solid advice about planning and implementing new strategies.

Business Development impact by the numbers

The MU Extension Business Development Program provides comprehensive services to assist clients in acquiring capital for business start-up, expansion, technology transfer and innovation. In the past year, the program helped Missouri entrepreneurs and business owners to:

  • Start 192 new businesses.
  • Create 2,433 new and retain 1,123 existing Missouri jobs.
  • Increase sales valued at more than $211 million.
  • Acquire more than $105 million in new financing for their companies.
  • Win more than 2,034 government contracts that total some $434 million.
  • Pursue research and development investment efforts — with technology clients receiving more than $9.8 million in grants and other funding to support product commercialization.