Silicon Valley SBDCSan Jose, CA

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Silicon Valley SBDC do?

The Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center does a number of things to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs start and grow. We conduct a wide variety of business seminars across the Greater Silicon Valley Area on subjects including accessing capital, business planning, e-commerce and web marketing, human resource management, expansion and growth capital, legal and business issues and a variety of best practice programs designed to help small businesses use the best techniques possible to increase sales and profits.

We have a team of Business Advisors (most have advanced business degrees from top schools plus 20 or more years of work experience) who offer one-on-one consulting to clients in diverse areas of business. We have relationships with a wide variety of other service providers and will help their clients get the right help for their specific issue.

Lastly, we answer dozens of calls a day from people who need help accessing information and help navigating through the company start-up process.

Where is the Silicon Valley SBDC located?

The Silicon Valley SBDC is located in San Jose. We are one of 14 centers that is part of the Northern California SBDC Network.

What is the Northern California SBDC?

The Northern California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a non-profit organization that provides confidential, no-cost business consulting and affordable training seminars to small and medium-sized business owners and managers. The Northern California SBDC will help you with every aspect of business creation, growth, management and operation. We are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. There are 14 centers located in Northern California for your convenience. Find your local SBDC to start receiving consulting and low cost training.

Do you have to be in business to use the services of the Small Business Development Center?

No. You only have to be considering the idea of opening a business or researching the feasibility of a proposed profit-making venture.

How does no-cost consulting with the Silicon Valley SBDC work?

It starts with a simple application. You tell us about your company and your needs and we give a truthful assessment of whether we think we can help. Then, we establish goals to work on (business loan, equity capital, etc.) and we work together to reach that goal. We will meet with you in-person, on the phone, over coffee – whatever works for your schedule. Think of it as having another confidential member on your team - someone who is specifically focused on the business goal you identified as most important - and at no cost to you.

Can the SBDC help my business if it is a nonprofit?

Because of the SBDC's funding guidelines, the Northern California Small Business Development Centers are not able to assist businesses that are established as not-for-profit.

My business has been established for some time. How can the SBDC help me?

The SBDC provides an array of consulting services to established businesses including one-on-one consulting in business planning, marketing and promotion, financial analysis, accounting, record keeping, human resources, strategic planning, new market diversification, and other areas. In addition, the procurement technical assistance program is available for companies that want to bid on government contracts and international trade specialists are available to consult with firms that want to enter into or expand in the global marketplace. Technology commercialization assistance is available to high growth and technology firms with sophisticated business management issues. The Northern California SBDCs are ready to help businesses in all stages with a variety of issues.

Who are Northern California SBDC Business Advisors?

SBDC Business Advisors are individuals who have significant experience in the private sector, and many have extensive management and financial consulting backgrounds. Northern California SBDC Business Advisors can offer individual advice and guidance concerning the formation, management, financing and operation of your business. Consulting is provided at no charge to qualified businesses and is confidential. We realize you have choices when it comes to choosing advisors for your business and we urge you to carefully consider whom you want on your team. SBDC Business Advisors are in it for you and your success. They are experts in their field and are 100% focused on making your company work better and faster, with increasing profitability. 

How are SBDC services free?

The SBDC is funded through the federal Small Business Administration, the California Governor’s Office of Small Business (GO-Biz), and local partners.

How can the Silicon Valley SBDC help someone just thinking of starting a business?

The Silicon Valley SBDC offers seminars and workshops at each of our centers for individuals who want general information on starting a business, or who are in the initial start-up phase. SBDC consultants can then help you with the details of turning your plan into a successful reality. 

Does the Silicon Valley SBDC charge for its services?

The management and technical assistance services are provided at no charge to the client. Nominal fees are generally charged for training seminars and special events. 

Apply Now

It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governors Office for Business and Economic Development, and other private and public partners;  and nationally accredited by the association of SBDCs.