The South Carolina SBDC network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, is pleased to announce that Ben Calhoun, Area Manager and Business Consultant for the Greenwood Area SBDC, has been named by his peers the 2020 SC SBDC State Star.
“Ben has proactively built a collaborative community-wide network of partners who effectively work together to support the small businesses in Greenwood, Abbeville, McCormick, Edgefield, Laurens, and Saluda counties,” said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham. “Ben is focused on providing the best possible services to his clients, not just satisfying, but delighting them with his efforts. As a result, he has produced excellent results with new businesses being started, jobs being created, and capital formation flowing.”
Calhoun says that he is honored to receive the SC SBDC’s highest performance award. “I am so thankful for all of the great people that have invested in me, supported our center and provided wise counsel over the last few years. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by people like my wife Wanda, who encourages me daily and sacrifices her time so I can help others.”
Calhoun joined the SC SBDC in 2018, bringing with him over 22 years of professional experience in consumer finance, management, and consulting. Before coming on board with the SC SBDC, Calhoun served as the C.F.O. for a non-profit organization and owned a financial counseling business. His experiences as a Branch, District, and Regional Manager in consumer finance allowed him to develop continuous process improvement, auditing methods for internal operations, and succession planning techniques. As a former small business owner and supervisor, he appreciates the challenges entrepreneurs face daily and enjoys seeing small businesses grow and thrive.
“What is impressive about Ben is that he never rests on his laurels. Instead, he is always open and eager to grow his knowledge and skills that will support the philosophy of continuous improvement,” said Abraham. “Calhoun has an innovative spirit and has been instrumental in identifying, sourcing, and sharing new tools that benefit the entire network. He is someone who reaches out beyond his region to collaborate on special initiatives, serve on statewide committees and support the objectives of our entire team.”
In addition to his endeavors with the SC SBDC, Calhoun strives to give back to the community by working closely with organizations that improve residents’ quality of life.
Calhoun says that the wisdom from Proverbs 15:22 (‘Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.’) has long been the foundation for shaping his approach to taking on new personal and professional challenges.
“Ben’s accomplishments have been achieved in a rural part of our state that could easily go unnoticed without strong leadership,” Abraham said. “I love that he is described as one who would never ask ‘why’ – he asks, ‘why not’?”