Office of Public Affairs

4th Floor Koren Building
718 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412.396.6050
Fax: 412.396.2243

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    Opportunity Knocks for Businesses, Transitioning Health Care Workers in Mon Valley

    In the wake of health care changes, particularly in the Mon Valley, Duquesne University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering assistance to health care workers who might be considering starting a business, as well as to existing businesses in the community.

    These two free SBDC programs, which are starting in March, could impact the entire community because, nationwide, small businesses account for more than half of a community's jobs-and an even higher percentage of new jobs, said Dr. Mary McKinney, executive director.

    "The programs target transitioning health care employees who may have lost jobs due to hospital changes and also offer assistance to businesses in communities where hospitals and other businesses have closed," McKinney explained. "The programs are geared to the Allegheny County portion of the Mon Valley, but really, residents from any community affected can be included.

    Time to Become an Entrepreneur is specially designed to help independent-minded, organized individuals start businesses. The program provides the necessary tools and strategies to enable individuals to transform their business ideas into successful enterprises. The program includes:

    • Hands-on and online training on writing a business plan
    • Pitching the plan
    • Marketing campaigns
    • Starting and growing businesses
    • Peer roundtables
    • Supplemental outside mentoring.

    The SBDC also is offering the Mon Valley Outreach Program to help existing small businesses increase sales and profits. For over 20 weeks, SBDC consultants will work, hands-on, with business owners and management on specific action items to help reach their growth objectives, providing structured, one-to-one counseling and mentoring.

    Consulting and roundtable topics include:

    • Export sales
    • Energy-saving opportunities
    • Website creation and effective use
    • Marketing
    • Procurement
    • Green initiatives
    • Quality and environmental management
    • Finance.

    For more information or to register for either program, contact 412.396.1633 or visit

    The U.S. Small Business Administration has funded the programs.

    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.