The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers no-cost, confidential consulting services and training workshops for small businesses and those who are thinking of starting a business in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Contact Us

Our primary offices are located at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.


Duquesne University

Small Business Development Center

108 Rockwell Hall

600 Forbes Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15282-0103


Phone: (412) 396-6233

Fax: (412) 396-5884


Monday through Friday 8:30AM to 4:30 PM


Contact Us Now

Success Story
A New Franchise has Come to Pittsburgh

Client Name: Janet Volkman

Company Name: CPR Franchise


Industry: Service

Year Founded: 2012

SBDC Assistance: business planning, market research and analysis, market strategies development




Janet Volkman came to the Duquesne Unviversity Small Business Development Center early 2012.  She wanted to start a business and needed help with finalizing her idea.  By the time Janet met with her consultant, Svitlana Mahoney, she eliminated about ten business ideas.  Late January 2012, three ideas were left to evaluate: organic pizza shop, cell phone repair franchise, and frozen yogurt franchise

At the initial meeting, the consultant explained how to analyze the ideas, write a business plan, and register the business in the state of Pennsylvania. After the meeting, Janet eliminated another idea: pizza store. Two more left to choose from. Janet started to write two business plans, one for each of her business ideas. Soon after, she realized that the research took a lot of her time and that the more she read about the businesses of her choice, the more she liked the cell phone repair franchise business. The choice was made: CPR franchise.


Assistance Provided


Janet worked hard for the next several months: regular telephone and online sessions with her consultant, a lot of research, telephone calls, and trips to a franchisee in Ohio. The more she discussed the business with her consultant the more research she did, the more confident Janet became that she has picked the right business. Working with her SBDC consultant Janet finished her business plan. She learned a lot about her business, target markets and competition when writing the business plan. The consultant was always available to answer her questions, conduct additional research and brainstorm marketing strategies. Janet could not be happier.



"The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center has been a tremendous resource for me while preparing to open my business in Pittsburgh, PA."

-Janet Volkman




The business plan helped her receive additional finances needed to open the business. The location was found and secured, and the business started operating in the fall of 2012. The grand opening, scheduled for mid-December 2012, was a success. The business currently employs a staff of five and sales have almost reached $25,000 in the two months the business was open. The franchise corporate office representative, Eddie Cate, who attended the Grand Opening shared his thoughts with the SBDC consultant: “Janet’s store is a great addition to the fast growing network of the CPR franchisees. She has the right focus, working with the business accounts as well as individuals. She has also secured a couple adjacent locations to grow her business.”