Southeast’s SBDC Honored with ‘Center Most Innovative Award’


Jakob Pallesen, director of Southeast’s SBDC, and Kayla Ray, business development associate at Southeast’s SBDC.

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program at Southeast Missouri State University’s Economic and Business Engagement Center was recently honored with the “Center Most Innovative Award” from the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program (BDP).

Additionally, Jakob Pallesen, director of Southeast’s SBDC, was named a “BDP Innovator,” which recognizes business development program staff who have developed and delivered the most innovative program. Pallesen and Kayla Ray, business development associate at Southeast’s SBDC, were also recognized among the top five Missouri SBDC staff for providing the highest number of counseling hours.

“We’re very excited and proud to have been nominated and to have received four awards from our Business Development Program network this year. Our team has put a lot of time and energy into developing new programs and services for our business clients. We’re part of a fantastic network with resources and knowledge we draw on and learn from daily,” Pallesen said. “It feels great to be recognized for our efforts, but more importantly it gives us even more motivation to keep improving services and resources.”

Being innovative is a core part of the Center’s mission to foster business, community and workforce development throughout the southeast Missouri region.

“We recognize the importance of developing and delivering services that are specific to our regional businesses and economy,” Pallesen said. “We’re a small team that strives to have a big impact, and that requires that we stay focused on creating new, innovative services, while improving on our existing services.”

Some of the new program recently implemented include a new strategic growth tool called GrowthWheel, a new process to help with export planning, and a new business workshop series available for participants to register at

About the Small Business Development Center (SBDC):

The Missouri (MO) SBDC is a lead program of the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program (BDP), a statewide network which helps businesses succeed in every stage from concept to startup, growth to renewal, maturity to succession through a variety of programs. Missouri SBDC counselors are located statewide providing education and individualized assistance on a variety of issues.

From 2014 through 2016, the BDP assisted thousands of Missouri firms in creating or retaining 23,927 jobs, increasing sales by $900 million, acquiring new investments of $436 million and winning government contracts of $1.1 billion. The BDP is a solid return on investment, creating $120 in economic impact for every $1 invested and creating one job for every $844 in total funding.

For more information about Southeast’s Small Business Development Center, visit