Nevada collaborative aims to boost Las Vegas entrepreneurs

Updated August 2, 2018 - 12:29 am

One of the most common challenges for entrepreneurs is figuring out the first steps to start a business.

“How do I file a document? How do I find funding? What tax structure do I look at?” are some questions entrepreneurs face, said Zach Miles, associate vice president of the UNLV Office of Economic Development and director of the school’s Small Business Development Center.

A new collaborative effort in Las Vegas might help.

Nevada Business Development Services aims to be a one-stop shop offering resources to entrepreneurs across the valley who are starting or expanding their businesses. The resources are provided through a collaborative effort between the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the UNLV Office of Economic Development and the Nevada Small Business Development Center.

“This has access to everything small businesses need in order to succeed,” Miles said. The center offers classes, counseling, networking events, a 3D printer to build prototypes and more.

“We want this to be a hub for people to come and get trained, to ask questions,” said Mike Bindrup, project manager for the Small Business Development Center at UNLV. The resources “will be a lot easier to access now.”

Located at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension near Paradise Road and the 215 Beltway, Nevada Business Development Services has about eight staff members, Miles said. The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the UNLV Office of Economic Development and the Nevada Small Business Development Center began offering services under one roof in May.

“They cater to startups as well as existing businesses and ones that want to grow further,” said Raj Tumber, a mentor at SCORE Las Vegas, a nonprofit association that works with small businesses.

Small businesses’ influence

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy’s 2018 Nevada Small Business Profile, small businesses made up 99.1 percent of Nevada businesses and employed 42 percent of the private workforce in the state in 2015.

“They’re the backbone of our states and the country,” Bindrup said. “They enhance and add to our economy and state.”

The Small Business Administration report found that 2,429 establishments were started in Nevada in the third quarter of 2016, providing 9,034 new jobs in the state. Additionally, of the 3,031 companies that exported goods from Nevada in 2015, 86.3 percent were small firms, and they generated 17 percent of Nevada’s $7.5 billion of total exports.

“Small businesses, they drive the economy,” Miles said. “Without small businesses, we don’t have economic development and diversification.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.