Each year, America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) celebrates the nationwide Network’s “State Stars.” These individuals are nominated by their peers and selected by their SBDC Network for their exemplary performance. Jacqueline Franco, NYS Certified Bilingual Business Advisor for Stony Brook University’s Small Business Development Center, has been honored with America’s SBDC 2023 “State Star” award.
“I am pleased to announce that Jackie Franco has been selected by the NYSBDC Awards Selection Committee and confirmed by New York State Director Sonya Smith to be the 2023 “State Star” for the New York SBDC,” said Bernie Ryba, director of SBDC at Stony Brook University. “Leading up to this prestigious award, just this past May, Jackie was recognized by the Long Island Chamber of Commerce as their ‘Community Business Advocate of the Year’ and received accompanying citations from NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Nassau County Executive Blakeman, the Nassau County Legislature and other local municipal leaders.”
Currently, Franco is the only SBDC bilingual Spanish advisor throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties. Franco has assisted hundreds of SBDC clients through one-on-one counseling sessions and workshops hosted by the Stony Brook SBDC or in association with public libraries located in close proximity to Hispanic communities. Programs focus on providing training in business plan development and strategy, legal structure, and marketing to name a few, all in Spanish, and to educate the Hispanic communities on available resources and opportunities for growing their businesses.
“Breaking molds, uniting strengths with creativity and passion, we reach more entrepreneurs and make lasting impact. Serving all communities, particularly those of underrepresented groups, has been an immense privilege,” said Franco. “Grateful to the Stony Brook SBDC team, government agencies, chambers of commerce, libraries, and professional associations for their unwavering support and collaboration in driving impactful projects. Without them, this achievement would not have been possible.”
Franco has led the Stony Brook SBDC’s Hispanic Business Strategies Program, an ongoing initiative sponsored in part by Bank of America, which is geared to support business development and strengthen the small-to-medium sized Suffolk County Hispanic Business Community.
Since February 2018, Franco has worked as a bilingual New York State Certified Business Adviser for the Stony Brook SBDC bringing over 20 years of managerial, project development, sales management, marketing, and consulting expertise in a wide range of industries. She holds a Master of Business Administration and Post Graduate Degree in Marketing from EAFIT University, Colombia.
— Adam Ortiz, Economic Development