Business Development

Programs designed to improve business performance through new knowledge, tools, and processes. Program topics include marketing, accounting and bookkeeping, development of market opportunities, managing business contracts, financial planning, and compliance with local, state and federal requirements. Audiences include business owners and managers, or those thinking about starting or expanding a business, including entrepreneurs.

Example program topics: e-commerce; business development/management; entrepreneurism; workforce development; customer service


A Small Business Banking Guide is intended for new and established business owners and Extension Educators that work with entrepreneurs. The guide will help small business owners navigate the process of creating, maintaining, and enhancing a personal relationship with a bank representative. The guide also provides helpful information so that…


The Rural Grocery Specialist Certificate Program trains and deploys resource professionals across the country to better serve rural grocers through business transitions. This course includes seven self-paced online modules covering key topics for supporting rural grocers through business transition. Each module consists of between five and 10 video lessons led…


Community development is an essential component of county Extension education. To successfully incorporate community development into their programs, county agents and their supervisors need to recognize and define what is— and what is not—encompassed in community and economic development. This document provides a brief review.


The Economic Opportunity Mapping (EOM) Tool provides interactive online maps that allow users to visualize potential county-level economic opportunities for businesses in different industries across the United States. In addition to county summary statistics, the EOM tool provides a visual representation of results of a model producing expected industrial predicted…


This fact sheet describes what a sustainable business is and will help businesses develop a sustainability goal, understand the behavior changes necessary to meet that goal, provide techniques to achieve those behavior changes, and outline the implementation of a successful plan.


The health of any organization is directly related to the skills of that organization’s employees. Further, community developers understand that healthy organizations are necessary for a vital community. University of Illinois Extension Educators developed an educational program aimed at improving the customer service skills of staff people in local businesses,…