Wayland SIFE team helping with local branch of Small Business Center

PLAINVIEW – The Students in Free Enterprise team at Wayland Baptist University are partnering with the Small Business Development Center in Lubbock to create a branch office in Plainview.

Located in the Nunn Business Building, the branch office will be open the first Tuesday of each month, beginning in January. Additional appointments can be made as needed, and appointments for the local branch will be scheduled through the Lubbock office of the SBDC.

The partnership is a win-win for both the SBDC and the SIFE students.

“This will help us to have more of a presence in Plainview and to reach more potential and existing entrepreneurs in the area,” said Steve Anderson, director of the Texas Tech University SBDC at Lubbock. “We do have clients and success stories in Plainview, but the distance can be a factor.”

Stephanie Clements, a senior at Wayland and the SIFE president, said the group is excited about the partnership.

“This came up in conversation with Steve Anderson and we felt like it would be a great opportunity for both sides,” Clements said. “This will open a whole lot of doors for the SIFE team as well.”

The format will match businesspersons with an SBDC counselor as well as a SIFE student studying in that area in order to provide hands-on learning with business situations.

“This will give the SIFE students some practical business experience about real small business issues, in order to use what they’re learning in classes and put it to real practical use,” Anderson said, adding that the Lubbock branch works often with Tech students and has found the experience helpful to everyone. “They’ll work in conjunction with the SBDC business counselor and provide some services they are able to do.”

“We hope to set up a mentor system where the area business owners will have someone locally that knows their case,” Clements added. “We can help pitch ideas and work them with as needed. This provides a lot of valuable information for us and gets our business majors involved with real businesses in the community.”

The Small Business Development Center in Lubbock serves a 15-county area, and the Plainview site will be open to any businesspersons or potential entrepreneurs from Hale County, Castro County, Swisher County and Floyd County who prefer to visit Plainview rather than make the Lubbock drive.

SIFE is an organization of students who coordinate projects and events to promote business awareness, entrepreneurship, ethics and financial literacy throughout the community. Students work in local schools and with local businesses to promote better business practices and interest in business.

Clements said the SIFE team is considering providing teleconference seminars on business issues through SBDC in the future, using the teleconference facilities at Wayland.

For more information or to begin scheduling appointments, contact the SBDC at (806) 745-1637.