Entrepreneur's Guide

A helpful, reliable resource for anyone interested in starting and growing a business in Pennsylvania.

Download the Entrepreneur's Guide PDF.

Resources for Small Businesses

Pennsylvania offers an extensive and experienced network of service providers that’s ready to provide entrepreneurial expertise, whether you need help getting your small business off the ground, have questions about expanding into new markets, or need a revised business plan. They’re here to help you succeed in Pennsylvania. Below is a list of resources available through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) and our partners.

Through our programs and partners, Pennsylvanians have access to a variety of counseling services to help with:

  • business plan development
  • manufacturing & technical assistance
  • financing support
  • export assistance

DCED’s Small Business Assistance Network (SBAN) offers free, practical advice to individuals looking to start a new business, while also helping existing companies grow and prosper. They are the first stop for individuals who have new ideas for business opportunities, or that simply need to learn about the vast toolbox of services and resources available within Pennsylvania.

Contact us today for more information at  sban@pa.gov or toll-free at  800.280.3801.

Small Business Webinars

PREP is a 10-region consortium of PA economic development service providers designed to help companies start, grow, and prosper. Our PREP partners have the know-how to assist individuals who want to hit the ground running with a new business concept and assist current entrepreneurs — all on a regional level. PREP’s partners include:

PREP’s one-on-one counseling, specialized workshops, online training, and financial incentives make it one of the most coordinated and respected networks in the nation designed specifically to meet the needs of our job creators.

Check out our map of local partners — there’s likely one near you!

DCED’s Office of International Business Development (OIBD) offers a wide range of programs and services to help entrepreneurs and businesses sell their goods and services in international markets. OIBD maintains the largest network of both domestic and international partners of any U.S. state focusing on providing export assistance.

Through the program, companies receive many services including:

  • market research
  • market entry counseling
  • foreign company background checks
  • customized searches for qualified partners
  • trade missions and low-cost exhibition opportunities
  • grant funding
  • on-the-ground, in-country support for business trips
Contact us today for more information!

The award-winning Ben Franklin Technology Partners is recognized as the international gold standard in technology-based economic development programs. Since 1983, BFTP has provided both early-stage technology firms and established manufacturers with funding, business and technical expertise, and access to a network of innovative, expert resources that help them succeed.

BFTP has played a pivotal role in Pennsylvania’s transition to a globally competitive, knowledge-based economy. The success of BFTP’s portfolio clients ripples throughout the Commonwealth, creating new jobs, new growth, new investments, and a higher Gross State Product. The work of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.60 of additional tax revenue to the state for every $1.00 invested in the program. BFTP has four regional headquarters positioned strategically throughout the state in the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and State College.

Ben Franklin has helped thousands of innovative startups and established manufacturers get the funding, expertise and connections they need to grow in Pennsylvania. To find out how BFTP could help your company or to see which regional Ben Franklin Partner to contact find out more here: www.benfranklin.org

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government which aids, counsels, assists, and protects the interests of small business concerns to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.

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