Dallas is one of the world’s best cities for business. Part of the reason is that there are so many helpful and supportive business resources available. Those include both government agencies and nonprofit organizations with practical solutions and creative ideas to share with business startups, owners, and managers. Here are some that are especially popular with businesses, regardless of their industry, profession, or product and service niche.
The nonprofit Dallas Entrepreneur Center, referred to by locals as “The DEC,” is one of the most comprehensive business resources in Dallas. The organization operates educational programs as well as physical hubs throughout the city, combining online and offline resources with face-to-face collaboration. The organization is especially geared toward entrepreneurial startups, offering dynamic business mentorships and partnerships. It’s a great place to make new connections with companies as well as investors.
It usually goes without saying that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a leading source of help for businesses. But that fact is worth repeating. The SBA can help in numerous ways, whether a business owner needs to secure loans and grants or learn to write a compelling business plan and find a qualified mentor. The SBA assists businesses in Dallas through its local office, which is backed by national resources and federal funding.
One of the organizations that the SBA works with and refers businesses to is SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). This nonprofit provides expert business counseling, free of charge, to anyone who wants to launch their own business. Through their mentorship programs and workshops they also provide education on topics like digital marketing, business finance, and business management and strategy. SCORE operates Dallas area mentoring locations and has a continually updated calendar listing of local webinars and workshops. Some of the workshops are free and others require only a nominal fee.
For startups trying to lure investors, One Million Cups is a great organization. It brings together business leaders and entrepreneurs at regularly scheduled events. At each of the events a presenter has the opportunity to pitch their business to an audience. That allows them to practice pitching their business, just as they would to a group of investors. Then the audience provides feedback and brainstorms ideas and strategies. They help the presenter solve specific challenges related to such things as marketing, branding, product development, and securing financial capital.
Launch DFW describes itself as a media company focused on connecting people and communities, and it is particularly valuable to those in the technology sector. Launch hosts a podcast that covers topics of local business and technology, and plans to soon publish a directory of co-working spaces and opportunities in the Dallas area. That can help a business looking for an office that can also serve as a shared incubator for business ideas and collaborative partnerships.
Momentum Texas, Inc. (MTI) was created to assist veterans of the armed forces as they transition back into the civilian workplace from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The organization works with veterans through free education, training, and coaching to help them either launch a business or grow an existing business.
These represent just a cross-section of the many resources available to support Dallas businesses. The Dallas Chamber of Commerce is an excellent source for additional information and contacts.