The Small Business and Technology Development Center Provides No-cost Resources for Starting and Growing a Business in WNC

May 5, 2022

Through no fee, confidential business coaching services, the SBTDC is committed to sharing knowledge, education, and targeted resources that enable small and mid-sized businesses, emerging entrepreneurs, and local/state leaders to innovate and succeed.

North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) is the business and technology extension service of the University of North Carolina System, funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBTDC operates 10 regional service centers in 16 total offices and is actively engaged with the state’s economic development infrastructure, from local communities to the N.C. Department of Commerce and Governor’s Office.

The coaching I received at the SBTDC was head and shoulders above anything else I’ve experienced. They’re outcome-focused, business savvy, and well connected in the regional business world. I can’t imagine why every business owner doesn’t take advantage of this resource.

-Josh Goldback, Bold Earth Adventures

WNC regional offices are located at UNC Asheville (118 WT Weaver Blvd in the Community Engagement Division), Western Carolina University (Forsyth College of Business), and downtown Asheville (46 Haywood Street). SBTDC is uniquely poised to serve UNC Asheville students, alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the 14-most western counties in N.C.

Coaching support is available through one on one video conferencing, telephone, and in-person meetings. Their business counselors can assist with various issues, including planning, financial management, human resources, marketing, and operations. Additionally, the diverse backgrounds of our staff allow us to match our services to client needs and provide industry-specific advice and counseling such as government procurement, International Business, and research and development.

Four times a year, SBTDC Business Launch Specialist Ashley McFarland, out of the UNCA Center, leads a cohort of aspiring entrepreneurs through a free business fundamentals program called Taking the Leap. In this four-week class, individuals learn about different aspects of starting a business, including identifying potential markets, writing a business plan, running the finances of a business, and marketing.

Starting a new business is extremely overwhelming, but I was fortunate enough to have the help of NC SBTDC! The SBTDC coaches have been amazing guides and mentors to me through every step of the process. From legal, financial, local connections, website, and social media advice….they have helped me with all aspects of my start-up AND continue to follow up and guide me now that I have opened for business! I am truly grateful to have them guide me as I have made the leap into entrepreneurship and have now started to scale my business.

 – Michelle Ballard, Asheville Picnic Company

The next Taking the Leap program will be held virtually via Zoom starting June 7, 2022, and more information on the cohort can be found at

Learn more about additional programs and services at