At the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, we offer a number of business training programs throughout the year. In 2017, we offered 229 programs throughout the state of Georgia, to be exact. And although we’ve delivered many standout programs, each year at our Annual Awards Banquet, the UGA SBDC names a limited number of programs/processes as Innovation of the Year (IOY).

The Innovation of the Year Award is given to one or more faculty or staff member for developing an outstanding continuing education program, creation of process manuals, new or improved methodologies for office operations or consulting practices, new tool development, or other creation or modification of a program or service that results in a significant impact on the operations or services of the UGA SBDC.

The IOY Award is a highly competitive award. To be eligible for the award, unlike the other UGA SBDC awards, there is no minimum years of employment required and can be either be self or peer nominated. To win the award, a committee consisting of previous UGA SBDC IOY award recipients and/or other faculty and staff selects the winners based upon the written nominations.

This year, the award goes to…. * drum roll*… UGA SBDC at Clayton State University Area Director, Alisa Kirk and UGA SBDC in Macon Business Consultant, Lisa Rackley for their “HireSMART” program, as well as UGA SBDC in Athens Area Director, Laura Katz, for her “Agribusiness” program.

We are very proud of Alisa, Lisa, and Laura for their innovative additions to the SBDC.

Congratulations, ladies!


About HireSMART

Hiring a good employee is not just about knowing the rules and preparing a comprehensive job description; there’s an art to it as well. Hire the right person, you can rule the world. Hire the wrong person, you can’t even sleep. This interactive program will weave together the hows and whys of hiring with techniques for interpreting non-verbal clues and behavioral styles. Attendees will leave with a better idea of how to find the right person for the job. Whether you are a center director hiring a consultant or a consultant advising your clients, this program is for you. HireSMART has been delivered at two national conferences and multiple time throughout the state of Georgia.


About Small Farm Business Basics

In collaboration with UGA Extension, Georgia Organics, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Laura Katz helped to develop Module 1 of the Small Farm Business Training, which is one of the three module Journeyman Farmer Certificate Program. Module 1 is a two-hour, four session, program educating on topics such as: lessons learned from successful small farms, market feasibility, balance sheets, income statements, risk management, marketing and technology, and preparing a business plan. Since the program inception in January 2016, there have been 447 participants who have completed the program.

Want to check out all of the business education programs the UGA SBDC offers? Visit our training page by clicking here.