Celebrating One Wisconsinite's Enduring Legacy
Senator Gaylord Nelson's Legislation Brought Us Earth Day and the Foundation for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) National Network
In these difficult times, it is nice to take a moment to celebrate. Fifty years ago, Sentator Gaylord Nelson - who grew up in the North Woods of Wisconsin - turned to the people of Wisconsin to support the environment through the first national Earth Day . This day was an opportunity for citizens nationwide to raise awareness of environmental problems through grassroots efforts. Today, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison continues that lasting legacy through their free online Earth Day Celebration and Business Workshop.

40 Years of the SBDC, and We're Still Here for You
Just as Senator Nelson's vision for supporting the environment survives today, so does the SBDC - the support system he helped establish for small businesses. Forty years ago, he spearheaded the bill that would eventually become the Small Business Development Act of 1980. This Act established the pilot program of 11 operating Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).

T oday, there are nearly 1,000 SBDCs across the nation. The Wisconsin SBDC Network 's no-cost, confidential consulting and low-cost business education classes are accessible to anyone   across the state . In 2019, the SBDC at UW-Madison:
  • Helped start 33 new businesses
  • Provided business consulting to 482 clients, and
  • Helped clients obtain over $11.75 million in capital

In the last month, our three business consultants have also connected with over 160 businesses in response to COVID-19 concerns.

Free Virtual Conference Featuring Business Sustainability Workshop
If your business has been contemplating how to operate more sustainably, this workshop - celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day - is a valuable resource.

Now generously being offered gratis since the event transitioned online, this four-part series on carbon management will help participants gain perspective on why carbon is important and understand what tools and tactics businesses are using to manage, reduce, and offset their carbon footprints. Participants will also hear from industry pioneers, including a session with Lucas Joppa, Chief Sustainability Officer of Microsoft .

Pre-Recorded Sessions:
  • Defining Carbon Jargon
  • Carbon Reduction And Management Tools

Live Sessions:
  • Strategies To Address Carbon In Your Business: 10 a.m., April 20
  • Innovation and Climate Leadership by Business: 2 p.m., April 20
The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the  Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship  in the  University of Wisconsin System . It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the  U.S. Small Business Administration.