Beth Smith, manager of the Spartanburg Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC), was recently selected as the 2016 South Carolina State Star. This noteworthy achievement is based on her exemplary performance, enthusiasm for representing the network in the business community, contributions to local economic development and longstanding service to the SC SBDC.
Smith has been managing the Spartanburg Area SBDC co-located with Spartanburg Community College since 2011. In the past year alone, she has conducted more than 1290 counseling sessions, assisted 195 clients, and hosted workshops attracting more than 200 attendees. Her clients have generated nearly $3 million in investments resulting in the creation or retention of 122 jobs.
“Beth is a respected and highly productive advisor for the SC SBDC network,” said South Carolina SBDC State Director Michele Abraham when announcing Smith’s selection as the 2016 ASBDC State Star. “In addition to helping business owners chart a path to success, she has been instrumental in making the SBDC a vital player in the economic landscape of the Spartanburg area, and sharing her expertise with new consultants. The Spartanburg Area SBDC is very fortunate to have Beth at its helm,” said Abraham.
Like all SC SBDC network professionals, Beth draws upon her breadth and depth of experience when advising both existing and early stage venture clients.
“My philosophy is not to help people simply start a business, but to help people succeed in business,” Smith said. “As the Spartanburg Area SBDC Manager, I have the opportunity to interact with a diverse client base: from entrepreneurs with a dream, to private sector vanguards creating, growing and selling companies for profit.”
“Fueled by a passion to improve the county’s entrepreneurial climate, Beth participates in numerous outreach initiatives,” said SC SBDC Clemson Region Director Jill Burroughs. “Among her many accomplishments, Beth assisted the Director of Economic Development at the Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Development at Spartanburg Community College by providing support for relocating companies and organic start-ups that are tenants of the facility.”
Smith is active in several industry-affiliated organizations, sits on the Spartanburg Community College Board of Directors and supports the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Center in Spartanburg. Beth’s commitment to community outreach enables her to cultivate opportunities that yield valuable dividends for both the Spartanburg Area SBDC and the clients she advises.
“My goal was to launch an equine therapy business; but I was overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a business plan,” said Brenda Wieland, owner of Horse of My Heart, LLC, who contacted Beth to enlist her assistance. “As an advisor, her insights and vision proved invaluable,” said Wieland. She credits Beth for “taking the time to get to know me, so that the business would reflect my work experience as well as my interests.” Having benefited from Beth’s personal approach and expertise, Wieland joins a long roster of grateful clients in praising Smith for “her gift for getting to the essence of what an entrepreneur needs to be successful.”