Pacific Islands SBDC receives accreditation renewal until 2023
The Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network (PISBDCN) at the University of Guam received a renewal of its accreditation until December 2023. The network oversees six individual SBDC offices throughout Micronesia, and every five years, it undergoes a review that determines if it is meeting the standards and requirements set by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) and America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC).
“We must be accredited or else we risk losing our membership with ASBDC and partnership with SBA,” said Denise M. Mendiola, who serves as the PISBDCN acting network director and the Guam SBDC director. “Accreditation ensures that we are operating efficiently and effectively within the standards they set.”
In October 2018, an accreditation team consisting of other SBDCs contracted by the SBA conducted a site visit and interviewed the PISBDCN staff and advisory board members as well as the center’s host, sponsors, and clients to assess the program.
The accreditation process also reviews how PISBDCN can improve its services.
“The SBA has given us new goals to achieve this year. Right now we’re focusing on food security and the Micronesia Regional Trade Program — a five-year project to encourage regional trade and international export,” Mendiola said.
The PISBDCN exists to support the growth and economic development of the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands in the Western Pacific region by providing training and free business counseling to existing and prospective small businesses. Under the umbrella of the Network lead center are service centers in Guam, Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau. PISBDCN is part of the ASBDC network with 1,000 SBDCs within 63 networks across the United States and its territories.