Jan. 14, 2014 – The North Carolina Community College System Small Business Center Network (SBCN) recently named Martha Larson, director of Davidson County Community College’s Small Business Center, its 2013 ‘Rookie of the Year.’
The SBCN announced the honor during its recent conference in Asheville. Larson was one of nine individuals honored during the event and the only individual to receive this distinguished award. Directors such as Larson, who have been in their position for two years or less, are eligible to receive the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award. Among other accomplishments, it was Larson’s leadership of DCCC’s Small Business Center that caught the attention of SBCN.
Under Larson’s direction, the center has been able to significantly increase client counseling and enhance its image in its service area of Davidson and Davie counties. In 2013, the center saw a 300 percent increase in services, sponsored more than 30 business programs and conducted more than 50 consultation sessions. By the end of the year, the center’s work resulted in five startups, 15 jobs added and one loan secured.
“DCCC is pleased to learn that one of its own has been recognized by the North Carolina Community College System Small Business Center Network,” says Jeannine Woody, vice president, Academic Programs and Services. “The Rookie of the Year award is a major achievement for Martha personally as well as for our college. This esteemed recognition is further validation of DCCC’s commitment to growing future business leaders within our community.”
In addition to the ‘Rookie of the Year’ honor, the annual, statewide awards recognize small business centers and center directors in categories such as Innovation, Business Success Story and State Director of the Year. Center directors are also recognized for years of service and credentialing.
“Our Small Business Center Network provides a tremendous service to the communities our colleges serve,” says NC Community College System President, Scott Ralls, Ph.D. “Through the education, support and resources these centers provide, entrepreneurs are starting locally owned businesses, providing employment opportunities and positively impacting the state’s economic growth.”
The Small Business Center Network is organized in six regions to correspond with the System’s Customized Training regions and increase coordination with the regional economic development partnerships. In 2012-2013, SBCN provided 3,781 entrepreneurship seminars to 46,782 attendees and counseling to 6,971 individuals, resulting in 528 business startups and 2,967 jobs created or retained.
*Editor’s Note: Martha Larson, director of DCCC’s Small Business Center poses for a photo inside the Center’s conference room.
Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is looking forward to serving students in Davidson and Davie counties for many years to come. The college is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at https://davidsonccc.edu.