Montana Small Business Development Center Regional Director Receives National Recognition for Veteran Support

Jason Nitschke HELENA – The Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) announced today that Jason Nitschke, Regional Director of the SBDC at Great Falls Development Authority, has been named 2021 Boots to Business (B2B) National Instructor of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The B2B National Instructor of the Year is presented by the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). OVBD selects one winner from within the agency, along with its five SBA Resource Partner programs nationwide. Those programs include the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC), SCORE, SBDC, Women’s Business Centers (WBC), and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF).

Nitschke will represent the SBDC programs throughout the United States.

“As the great-grandson, grandson, nephew, and brother to military veterans and self-made, blue collar entrepreneurs here in Montana, I am honored to serve those who protect our country,” Jason Nitschke said.

The SBDC program funds nearly 1,000 centers and 5,000 business advisors throughout the country providing business technical assistance and educational opportunities to entrepreneurs.

Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by providing participants with an overview of business ownership. It is open to active duty service members, veterans, and military families of all branches.

Nitschke joined the SBDC hosted by the Great Falls Development Authority in October of 2014 and taught his first B2B in November of that year. Since that time, he has delivered more than 30 B2B trainings with 450 attendees and individually counseled nearly 200 potential veteran entrepreneurs and their spouses. Under his direction, the Great Falls SBDC has been named the Best Managed Center (2014) and Top Performing Center (2016). Nitschke received the SBA’s Veterans Service Award in 2017 and the America’s SBDC State Star Award for Montana in 2018.

“We are excited to see Jason being recognized nationally for his leadership and hard work in assisting small business owners through the Boots to Business program,” said Chad Moore, SBDC Montana State Director. “His wealth of knowledge through this program, other SBDC programs and as a business owner, positions him as a huge asset for our network and the small business community he serves.”

As the SBDC Regional Director serving from Cut Bank to Lewistown, Jason provides one-on-one counseling and training for entrepreneurs and small business owners in his seven-county region.

Nitschke was nominated by Tom White, Lender Relations Specialist with the SBA’s Montana District Office in Helena, and Dustin Frost, Director of the Region VIII VBOC in Billings.

Two ceremonies are being planned. A national virtual event will be hosted by the SBA and the OVBD on May 9, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Mountain Time to recognize Nitschke and the five other national awardees. A celebration and award presentation will be held on May 18, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. at a veteran-owned business, Electric City Coffee, 319 Central Ave., Great Falls, MT. Refreshments will be provided by Great Falls Development Authority.

The Montana SBDC Network is funded in-part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Montana Department of Commerce that began in 1989. Over the course of its 28-year history, the Montana SBDC has assisted more than 29,000 Montana entrepreneurs and nearly 6,500 businesses. For more information about the Montana SBDC Network, visit SBDC.MT.GOV.

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