Publication Date

Spring 2021

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Entrepreneurship, Small Business, SBDC, SBA, Economic Development, Workforce Development, Higher Education


With a new approach for integrating the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program in Alameda County, the Ohlone Community College District (Ohlone College) has introduced a new model for hosting an SBDC program on a college/university campus. While many other educational institutions across the nation have hosted an SBDC program (Cook Center for Entrepreneurship - Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, n.d.; University of Scranton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) | Helping NEPA & Northern Tier Small Businesses Start, Grow & Prosper., n.d.; Olson, 2006), most have treated the program as a separate entity or department, often leading to the program existing as a silo on the campus. Ohlone College, however, has instead taken the program and has fully integrated the program and all of its services into an existing career services center. The Ohlone College Tri-Cities Career Center now serves as the host of the county-wide SBDC program.

This approach for hosting an SBDC program in a college/university career services center is fairly new and innovative. Ohlone College officially became the host of the Alameda County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in January of 2019 (Our Host: Ohlone College | Alameda SBDC, n.d.). With only two years since the start of this integration, it is difficult to discern yet whether this “new model” for running an SBDC program has been successful, or even viable. However, it is possible to apply a methodology to analyze the impact that this integration has had on the productivity (and thus, success) of the SBDC program, using models of evaluation that have been used for this purpose in the past. With a comprehensive quantitative analysis of the productivity of the program, it would then be possible to determine whether this integration is indeed a “successful” one.