MALDEN, Mo., Aug. 1, 2011 — The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University will offer business strategy development services to small businesses in Malden, Mo., from 1 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Experienced business counselors from the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will provide one-on-one appointments for start-ups or small business owners who may be experiencing challenges or are seeking new means to grow their business. These services will be offered at no charge to participants as part the CIE’s Operation Growth Start program which has been funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. John Ferguson, an advocate for the program, said “Small business is the backbone of the U.S. economy and has been the primary job generator in southeast Missouri and the nation for the past several years. A strong small business sector is critical to the economic growth of Southeast Missouri. If you are considering starting a small business or if you want to take your existing business to the next level, you should really consider taking advantage of this service for small business.” In addition to small business strategy counseling, Operation Growth Start provides business training, technical assistance and access to a wide array of business resources. “We invite and encourage business owners from Dunklin, Pemiscot and New Madrid counties to participate,” Ferguson said. The business strategy sessions will be held at the Malden Community Center, located at 607 North Douglass Street in Malden. Similar outreach counseling dates are also scheduled for other communities in southeast Missouri. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a time slot please contact Heather Lesch at (573) 651-5156 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University is one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, offering a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerating economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region. For more information about the CIE and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, contact (573) 651-2929 or visit www.semo.edu/cie.