THE PASCO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (PASCO EDC) WAS FORMED IN 1987 WORKING TO RECRUITMENT AND RETAIN BUSINESS IN PASCO COUNTY, WHILE DEVELOPING A NETWORK OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COMMUNITY LEADERS TO HELP IN THE EFFORT.
Today the organization is unique as it is one the few of its’ kind in the United States. Business recruitment and retention is still a primary focus of the organization, however the growth of new and small businesses and services to entrepreneurs is equally important.
Pasco EDC is already known as one of the leading economic development organizations for its’ business recruitment and retention efforts, workforce development relationships and foreign investment and exporting programming. Now its SMARTstart program is known as the ultimate resource for new and growing businesses in Pasco County.
Whether you’re an established small business or just starting a business, SMARTstart provides the tools needed to establish and grow a strong business in Pasco County.This innovative suite of programs is offered through a network of SMARTstart Entrepreneur Centers and provide the tools growing businesses need for long-term success, including; Pasco Enterprise Network (PEN), Business Incubation, Pasco Microloan, Business Leadership Round tables, and the CO. STARTERS business development curriculum and SPARC Business Framework.
SMARTstart Entrepreneur Centers are places where entrepreneurs of any business stage can obtain information, access resources and network with like minded business owners. There are 2 Centers strategically located in Dade City and West Pasco that offer services such as; business coaching, mentorship, business development classes and workshops, co-working space, meeting rooms and private offices and weekly events.
Pasco Enterprise Network (www.pascoenterprise.com) is a partnership of agencies and business leaders committed to ensuring the success of small businesses. The coordination of programming helps business owners build the confidence to strengthen and grow their businesses through business consulting, individual counseling, education in the form of topical workshops and classes, and technical assistance in a variety of areas and subjects.
Business Incubation is a vital service for early-stage ventures when they are most vulnerable. This program is currently offered at 2 of the SMARTstart Entrepreneur Centers, one in Dade City and one in West Pasco. The incubation program provides hands-on management assistance, access to funding and connections to critical business resources or technical support services. There are shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases, and expandable space all under one roof.
The Pasco Microloan Fund was established to help passionate small business owners with solid ideas, good management skills, and a valid business plan get the funding they need when traditional financing is not an option.Loans are available up to $35,000 for entrepreneurs who have the experience and resources to be a successful business operator.
Business Leadership Roundtables bring industry CEOs, Presidents, and business owners together monthly for an exchange of information, challenges, and insights. Eight to 12 members from non-competing, growth-oriented companies meet in a confidential setting to share the challenges and rewards of leadership and how it impacts life at work and home. The roundtable experience results in better-informed decision making, more effective visionary thinking,heightened ability to anticipate trends and issues,increased profitability, and enhanced personal satisfaction.
CO.STARTERSis a nationally recognized business development curriculum developed by The Company Lab in Chattanooga Tennessee. This is a nine-week program to equip seasoned and aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavor. The cohort meets once a week with a trained facilitator and others who share the entrepreneurial spirit and work to develop a successful business model and discover repeatable steps for success that can be used throughout the life of any company.
The SPARC Business Framework was developed by Dino Eliadis, business coach and author of Business Growth Simplified. SPARC is a proven system for helping business owners become more strategic in how they run their business with the goal of having the business become self-sustaining. This systematic approach to growing a business includes 6 key steps: Defining Your Passion, Determine Your Growth Stage, Assess Current Resources, Establish Strategy, Create and Action Plan, and Execute, Monitor, and Adjust.
The power behind the success of the SMARTstart small business programs is an extensive network of relationships and expertise that come from 30 years of operations by the Pasco EDC. The SMARTstart programs are unique in that any entrepreneur from any stage of business development can find essential resources to help assist with strategic business growth.