Financial clinic and course launched at UW-Madison SBDC

The UW-Madison Small Business Development Center (SBDC) recently hosted a Celebration & Launch Event to share news of two key initiatives. The event was a flurry of excitement for the team, the supporters and over 50 attendees who came to learn about the Accounting and Projections Clinic and a new no-cost, on-demand course Beginner’s Guide to Financial Projections.

Michelle Somes-Booher kicked things off with an explanation of the timeline and processes as the two initiatives developed. She shared some of the obstacles, such as a worldwide pandemic, that the she and her dedicated staff worked hard to overcome.

She explained the simple registration process and brief curriculum details of the Beginner’s Guide to Financial Projections. Somes-Booher said, “We are proud to be able to create a tool that helps fill the wide gap between having a business idea in the beginning, and the complex and often overwhelming process of creating financial projections. It is wonderful to have a tool we can offer clients at no cost that teaches the language of projections and allows them to work at their own pace. By enabling clients to hear realistic entrepreneur stories in their own words and pull together many of their own projection numbers in our custom-designed workbook, we hope to empower business owners to feel confident in their financial projections.”

Next, Anne Inman explained details of the Accounting and Projections clinic highlighting benefits that entrepreneurs gain from the services provided. The clinic helps business owners develop bank-ready projections that aid both the owners themselves and the lending institutions in obtaining a clear understanding of a business’s financial position.

Inman also listed many advantages for the student interns working at the clinic. TJ Bates, BBA Accounting and Computer Science, said, “My experience as an SBDC intern taught me more than I could have imagined. I never expected to have an opportunity to work with such driven entrepreneurs and to help them create the business of their dreams. I found the work environment to be collaborative, and helpful to my learning. The use of real data to create financial statements showed me another side of accounting that does not always come through in classwork. I would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone looking to not only improve their accounting skills but also to work in an environment that connects you with your community.”  

Somes-Booher and Inman thanked the many people and organizations who helped to bring both projects to fruition, including peers in the SBDC network. They stressed the initiatives were a success due to the efforts of many, including a few local small businesses. Other words of thanks were given for city and community support, support from the University of Wisconsin and the School of Business, and ongoing financial and legislative support, including project funding support from Senator Tammy Baldwin and  Congressman Mark Pocan.

Congressman Pocan addressed the group stating that the Small Business Development Center had helped him begin his own small business over 35 years ago. His support for entrepreneurship in the state of Wisconsin was evident as he thanked Somes-Booher and her team for their accomplishments that will benefit small business owners. He encouraged all in attendance to continue to reach out to his office for support of these kinds of opportunities that help to drive the local and state economy.