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Economic & Business Engagement

Business Outreach Centers

The Business Outreach Centers enhance economic growth by providing Alabama small businesses with technical assistance for start-up, access to capital, international trade, and government contracting. The centers include the Alabama Small Business Development Center (ASBDC), Alabama International Trade Center (AITC), and Alabama APEX Accelerator.

The University of Alabama gratefully acknowledges the federal, state, local, and private sector partners whose support and cooperation further enhance the professional services delivered by the UA Business Outreach Centers. These partnerships enable us to leverage university resources and impact the state’s economy in diverse ways from the development of rural Alabama communities to helping small businesses start and grow.  

Alabama Small Business Development Center


The mission of the Alabama SBDC Network is to strengthen Alabama’s economy by providing high-quality technical assistance and education to small businesses. The SBDC specializes in one-on-one, confidential advising and training for business start-up, growth, and access to capital. It operates in all 67 counties of the state and has ten field office locations. The Alabama SBDC is nationally accredited by America’s SBDC trade association and is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of Alabama, and higher education institutions in the state.

Alabama International Trade Center


The mission of the Alabama International Trade Center (AITC) is to increase the level of international trade activity in Alabama, fostering development and expansion of the state’s economy. The Center provides export research, training, and finance services to small businesses on a statewide basis. Trade Center professional staff, university students, and industry consultants work one-on-one with small businesses to expand export opportunities for Alabama-made products and services. The Center, founded in 1979 by Dr. William R. Bennett, provides practical training on international trade to UA students, which enhances their career placement opportunities.

Alabama APEX Accelerator


The mission of the Alabama APEX Accelerator is to provide technical assistance to help small businesses pursue and secure government contracting opportunities and expand the defense and government industrial base. Certified procurement specialists advise clients on registration, qualifications, certifications, identification of contracting opportunities, preparation of bid proposals, and provide introductions to government purchasing officials. It operates in all 67 counties and has eight field office locations. The APEX Accelerator is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense.