The Mason Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) is a partnership between the SBA and GMU providing free educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Mason SBDC is funded through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Virginia SBDC Network, and George Mason University – Mason Enterprise Center.
The Mason SBDC is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. SBA-funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.
Address: Mason SBDC
4031 University Dr.
Fairfax, VA 22030
For over a decade, the Mason Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at George Mason University – Mason Enterprise Center has been assisting small business owners in Northern Virginia.
We assist over 500 local businesses each year. Our team provides over 100 hours of monthly one-on-one counseling services to small businesses in Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William Counties at no cost to our clients thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.
- Meet one-on-one with our experienced business counselors
- Business Plan, Executive Summary, Capabilities Statement, or other documents required. For resources, visit our Resources page.
- Responding to changing markets
- Optimizing operations
- Business Strategy
- Financial modeling
- Early-stage financing
- Cash flow management for profit and long-term success.
- Marketing strategy
- Sales/distribution models
- Presented by Bernard Ferret, Mason SBDC Senior Business Counselor and a Serial Entrepreneur. (Learn more about Bernard)
- The “Starting a Business” Workshop is monthly, and we hold the “Marketing 101” Workshop every 2 months.
Group Counselling Workshops
Starting a Business
Legal and administrative steps to start a business. Prepare your business for the opening day! Learn the following essential steps to start your business:
- Legal forms of your company
- Tax registration and filing
- Naming your company
- Finance and accounting
- Employees vs. contractors
- The basics of a business plan
- And much more!
Marketing 101 for Start Up Companies
Refresh your knowledge to effectively market your goods or services! Learn the following marketing essentials:
- How to choose your target group(s) and how to communicate with them.
- Market definition, market segmentation, and competitive analysis.
- Company branding as well as online and offline marketing.
Bob Smith – Director
Bob has 30+ years of experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is currently Chairman of CollegeFactual.com, a leading college rankings and decision-management website. He held senior management positions at Congressional Quarterly and America Online in sales, marketing and new product development and was the founder and CEO of the first nation-wide online city guide, Digital City. As an executive, angel investor and advisor he has helped companies in e-commerce, e-government, identity management, content publishing and local media go from launch through to favorable exits. In addition to his business pursuits, Bob is the director of GWU’s Fed Tech program, which teaches Lean Startup methods to inventors and students interested in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. He received a BA from USC and his MBA from GWU. He is a veteran of the US Navy.
Phimolwan (Aung) Shepelev – Assistant Director
Phimolwan is the Assistant Director of the Mason Small Business Development Center in the Mason Enterprise Center at Geroge Mason University. Before a new position, she started her first position at the Mason SBDC as an Ambassador. She holds an MBA from George Mason University’s School of Management as well as a degree in Industrial Engineering from Thammasat University in Thailand. While in Thailand, Phimolwan worked in project management role in the manufacturing industry for companies such as Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd. She was also an apprentice for iMADdu, a nonprofit in Fairfax, VA.
Timm Johnson – Senior Business Counselor
Timm is a Business Counselor at the Mason Small Business Development Center at the Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University. Timm Johnson has over twenty-eight years of financial and operations experience for software and services growth companies. Currently, he is Vice President of KeystoneTech Group, a firm that helps technology companies bring their innovative new products to market. Keystone provides strategic marketing, financial, and operations planning services to companies ranging from start-ups to fortune 500 companies. Timm is an active participant and advisor to several entrepreneur associations in the Washington area.
Bernard Ferret – Senior Business Counselor
Bernard Ferret is a serial entrepreneur who started 5 companies in the past 25 years, one with a successful exit, and another for which he raised $6 million in venture capital. His latest venture is TheGreenJobBank, a search engine for green jobs and green employers. Bernard holds an MS in Physics from the University of Provence, France, and an MBA from the College of William & Mary School of Business.
Elizabeth Thai – Project Coordinator
Elizabeth is the Project Coordinator at Mason Small Business Development Center in the Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University. While pursuing her BS at George Mason University, Elizabeth served as the external vice president of a non-profit student organization. As a graduate, she is now advising the organization and overseeing the operations and growth of the group. She has experience and a strong interest in community outreach, management, and leadership development. Elizabeth has assisted and supported numerous professional and leadership development conferences and community events across the Virginia and District of Columbia area.
Sindhu Mathew – Project Coordinator
Sindhu is the Project Coordinator at the Mason Small Business Development Center at George Mason University. She was previously with the Virginia PTAP (Procurement Technical Assistance Program) team, at George Mason University, where she provided administrative support to the program. She was also employed at a Legal IT support company where she assisted with business development efforts, pertaining to e-discovery services. Sindhu holds a Master’s in English Language and Literature, from Mahatma Gandhi University, India.
Sam Annoni – Program Coordinator
Sam is the Program Coordinator for the Mason Small Business Development Center at the Mason Enterprise Center. He graduated from George Mason University in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He has interests that vary from small business and entrepreneurship, to money and banking, and public policy. Sam has previously worked for Mason Recreation as a Customer Service Associate. There he sold memberships to clients as well as provided them great service and attention.
Ankur Mittal – Technology Project Coordinator
Ankur is the Technology Project Coordinator for the Mason Small Business Development Center at George Mason University. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at George Mason University and hopes to graduate in May 2020. He has experience with working in a government contracting startup and has also co-founded his own startup. His interests range in many different fields from automotive technology to software development.
Business Plan Resources
- Mason SBDC Executive Summary: (PDF) (DOCX)
- Mason SBDC sample Business Plan: Sample Business Plan and Financial Projections (docx)
- Business Plan Builder: U.S. Small Business Adminstration Business Plan Tool.
- Sample Business Plans: Sample Business Plans provided by Palo Alto Software.
- Government Contracting Counseling and Training: VAPTAP
- 8(a) Protege Assistance Services: Mentor-Protege Program
- Small Business Incubator: MEC – Fairfax
- Educational and Support Services Provider to Small Businesses: Community Business Partnership
- Free Business Advice for Small Businesses: Washington, DC Chapter of SCORE
- Procurement Information for and about Small Businesses: The US Small Business Administration
- The Virginia SBDC free online training programs: VA SBDC SmallBizU
- The Small Business Administration free online training: SBA Online Training
Guides and Pamphlets to Doing Business
- Virginia 2015 Resource Guide: 2015 Resource Guide for Small Business
- Site on doing business in Virginia: Guide to Doing Business in Virginia 2011.
- Pamphlet on doing business in Virginia: Small Business Resource Guide by Virginia DBA
- Site on doing business in Fairfax: Guide to Doing Business in Fairfax County.
- Pamphlet on doing business in Arlington: Guide to Starting a Business in Arlington County.
- Pamphlet on doing business in Prince William: Guide to Starting a Business in Prince William County.
- Online portal for Virginia entrepreneurs and business assistance providers: SourceLink Virginia
- IRS Homepage for new and small businesses: IRS Small Business and Self Employed Tax Center
- IRS List or resources for small businesses: IRS Resources For Small Business Owners (Spanish Version)