Seminar empowers all types of business owners

SBTDC Workshop schedule

SBTDC Workshop schedule

Nick Burnham, Staff writer

Plaster Hall is home to all the business classes on campus, and to some, that is all Plaster is. For other students and even some small business owners, Plaster is home to a valuable resource.

Located on the bottom floor of Plaster is one of Missouri’s Small Business and Technology Development Centers, SBTDC.

Missouri Southern’s SBTDC is supported by the Robert W. Plaster School of Business and is part of the nationwide SBTDC network.

The department provides existing and startup businesses with consulting and training in the Joplin community and an eight-county region in southwest Missouri.

“The key factor of what we do is that we are an educational resource for small businesses, said SBTDC Research Associate Sherry Noller. “When people come to us we are not doing their financial statements or we are not writing their business plans for them, we are educating them on how to do those things so that they are empowered to be a stronger business owner and so that they can make a bigger economic impact in the communities that they are in,” 

The SBTDC offers a wide variety of workshops and seminars year round, and for students and faculty at Southern there is no fee to attend these workshops, although for the small business owners who are not students or faculty,  fees range from $10-$95 depending on the workshop.

All workshops are located in Plaster Hall with some having multiple dates throughout the semester.

For example, yesterday the STDBC hosted a Woman’s Leadership Conference located at Cornell Auditorium in Plaster, with the topic of communicating and understanding generations in the workplace.

Noller said, “Students plan on getting a job after graduating, yet there are a lot of generational differences and with other generations in the workforce still because of our economy, it is good for the students to know the different ways each generation approaches things.”

The workshops lined up for this fall are put into three categories: Start-Up and Business Plan Workshops; Management, Finance, and Government Procurement; and Marketing and Social Media Workshops.

Each category offers a couple different workshops that expand on the category subject.

For example, the Start-Up and Business Plan category offers workshops in Starting a Small Business: The First Steps (Oct. 4, Nov. 8, Jan 16, Room 102) and How to Write a Successful Business Plan (Nov. 21, Jan 23, Room 104).

Business management senior Jake Follen said, “The workshops are a great for business students because we can easily use the resources from these workshops in the real world, and the better prepared we are for the real world, the better off we are going to be.”

 The SBTDC will offer computer workshops to teach small business owners how to utilize computer tools Quickbooks and Microsoft Office throughout October and November. Nov. 18-21 is Global Entrepreneurship Week and the SBTDC will also host four workshops throughout the week. To attend all four entrepreneur workshops the fee would be almost $150, but for Southern students and faculty it is free.  For more information about the SBTDC and its workshops visit or go by the office on the bottom floor of Plaster.