Business is booming in southern Denton County, and local entrepreneurs have access to a wide range of free consulting services at the North Central Texas College campus in Flower Mound through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
“The SBDC assists small business owners by offering free business advising and resources that are invaluable to anyone just starting a new business as well as anyone wanting to expand their business,” said Kevin Sadowski, who mans the SBDC office at NCTC-Flower Mound in Parker Square.
For nearly 29 years, NCTC has partnered with the communities it serves by offering services through the SBDC. In addition to the office in Flower Mound, there is also an office at the Denton Chamber of Commerce and at the NCTC home campus in Gainesville.
One of the clients that Sadowski has helped is Pradeep Sanjeev of Flower Mound, who had an idea for a healthy millet chip he calls Milletos.
He got the idea for the chip when he checked out the ingredients in Doritos, one of his son’s favorite foods. Even with a background in chemistry, Sanjeev didn’t recognize most of the ingredients in Doritos, so he looked into doing something healthier.
“In India, because of diabetes, a lot of people eat the small-grain millets,” he said. “So I did some studies on them and found that they are healthier. Then I started experimenting with millet flour to make chips. It took me about 3 to 4 months to get the product the way I wanted it to look and get the texture right.”
But it takes more than an idea to get a business off the ground. It also takes money. When he had trouble getting a business loan, he went to see Sadowski in the SBDC.
“I met with him one day and he advised me to do a business plan with projections, so I did,” Sanjeev said. “Then Kevin introduced me to some bankers. Kevin really helped me launch the product. Without the SBDC, I wouldn’t be here.”
Now Sanjeev plans on starting the manufacturing of his Milletos chips in July and hopes to find a place for his product in health food stores in North Texas soon after.
“I just want to thank Kevin for encouraging me to keep my hopes alive when I couldn’t make any progress with a business loan for my start-up venture,” he said. “He provided guidance and advice, believing in my product and later introducing me to Green Bank, which gave life to my business idea.”
The local SBDC is available to help anyone who lives in or seeks to have a business in Denton County. The SBDC is part of a nationwide network that links the resources of federal, state and local governments to those of colleges, universities and the private sector to meet the specialized needs of any type of small business.
The SBDC office is located in Room 119 on the main floor of the NCTC Flower Mound campus at 1200 Parker Square. Summer office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The office is closed on Fridays during the summer. To schedule an appointment contact the SBDC office at 972-899-8420 or by email at [email protected]