It’s no secret that entrepreneurs are tasked with doing everything in their business. The thought of adding one more thing can seem impossible! But when it comes to continuing education, business owners should look at these opportunities as investments in their future. In the daily press of running a business, it’s tough to step back and take a breath. But, ongoing success is not going to simply jump into your lap. You must be proactive and embrace new technologies, ideas and business models. Entrepreneurs who are innovative, bold and gutsy will win the day. After all, as General George Patton once said, “Opportunities do not come to those who wait. They are captured by those who attack.”

The number and variety of workshop events, conferences, talks, etc. for small businesses are so plentiful that it can be hard to determine which are the best to attend. Whether its professional business development, networking for new opportunities or camaraderie with fellow entrepreneurs, taking a frequent assessment of your need gaps can help determine which educational opportunities are best for your business. Once you determine what your needs are, continuing education can provide a vast wealth of business knowledge, and it doesn’t take much time to reap the benefit. A consistent regimen of small, informative bites and interactions can feed your brain and your business for the long term.

Gainesville has a burgeoning yet dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem. Supporting an environment where companies can thrive requires an important underlying framework which includes a base of resources and professionals—incubators, academics, business advocates and consultants–who understand entrepreneurial companies and are prepared to assist them.

One such opportunity for small businesses to gain new insights is the UF Business Development Workshops. Presented by the University of Florida Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations, this monthly program is designed to give small business owners the tools needed to become successful vendors for UF. Conducted by UF departments, project managers and industry professionals, these workshops help businesses learn how to:

  • CONNECT – to the various area resources that can help your business.
  • ENGAGE – with our programs and event.
  • BUY – learn what items we buy and how we buy them.

These workshops are free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register, go to The Division of Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations is a division of Business Affairs. Its mission is to seek out, identify and utilize small businesses, including women and minorities (SWMBEs), which provide services and/or commodities that are purchased by the University of Florida.

By Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD | Director, UF Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations