SBDC at Hillsborough County

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC), assists existing and emerging businesses in Hillsborough county, through no-cost confidential business consulting, information, and low-cost training. Whether starting, buying, growing or selling a business, the Florida SBDC at USF has what entrepreneurs need to grow and succeed. Consultants can assist entrepreneurs in a variety of business areas, including: marketing, business certification, capital access, market diversification, developing strategic business plans, export services, and web optimization.

TT SBIC office (Custom)
Corporate Square
7402 N. 56th Street
Building 400, Suite 425
Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 914-4028
Fax: (813) 914-4027
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm

TrainingConsultantsHillsborough County SBICSchedule a Consultant

Map & Directions


Meet the Consultants

  • Carol Johns

    Carol JohnsCarol JohnsSBDC at USF, Saint Leo University

    Specialty: Financing, Start-Up, Business Strategies, PEDC Micro-loans

    As an entrepreneur herself, Carol Johns provides technical assistance to business owners seeking expertise in everything from figuring out how to get started to optimizing business performance. Johns has 25 years as a small business and non-profit lender prior to starting a management consulting and entrepreneurial training firm in 1997, which she still owns today. She has served as executive director of several community development financial institutions and micro-lending organizations as well as established a non-profit business service firm, which was certified by the Small Business Administration as a Technical Assistance Provider for small, start-up and expanding firms. Johns was awarded the Mary McLeod Bethune Award for Education and Advocacy and the SBA Minority Small Business Advocate Award. She has earned a MBA and is accredited as a Business Planning Professional. She is an adjunct professor at several colleges and universities in the areas of business, management, business finance and entrepreneurial studies.

  • Janette Blanco

    Janette BlancoJanette Blanco SBDC at Hillsborough County Economic Development Department

    Specialty: Business Plans, Financing, Construction Industry Regulations and Licensing

    Janette Blanco has extensive knowledge in doing business with the government and specializes in assisting minority and women-owned businesses with the government bidding process. Prior to joining the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County, Blanco was a cost estimator on engineering projects as well as owned and operated her own business for 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Blanco is also bilingual.

  • Jennifer Biles

    Jennifer BilesJennifer BilesSBDC at Hillsborough County Economic Development Department

    Specialty: Business Plans, Marketing, Daycare, Food Industry, Enterprise Zone Incentives, Business Continuity

    Jennifer Biles has more than 10 years experience in providing business consulting and conducting workshops. She specializes in business plans, daycare facilities, food industry, business continuity, tax incentives and marketing. Prior to joining the Florida SBDC, Biles owned her own business for two years. She has her master’s from Texas A&M University in curriculum and instruction.

  • Jennifer Whelihan

    Jennifer WhelihanJennifer WhelihanSBDC at Hillsborough County Economic Development Department

    Specialty: Marketing and Communications

    Jennifer Whelihan has 14 years of experience in media, public and community relations. Her background has led her to positions as a television and print journalist, media director for the Florida House of Representatives, press secretary on political campaign work, communication director for a leading research facility and other work for non-profits and government. Her publicity and media campaign coverage has led to thousands of stories in international, national and local media to include USA Today, AARP Magazine, GQ Magazine, Yahoo!, FOX News O’Reilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and the Associated Press. She is also a communications professor at the University of Tampa and the president of her own firm, j.whela Productions, which specializes in media strategic planning, marketing communication and business communication. Being fluent in Spanish, Whelihan is greatly involved in Hispanic affairs in the community. She is the president of the Hispanic Professional Women’s Association in Tampa Bay and serves on the Sheriff’s Hispanic Advisory Council. Her leadership and community involvement has led her to being selected as the Chairperson of the Hispanic Professional Women’s Association 20th Anniversary. She was also selected for Leadership Hillsborough and received the Florida State University Seminole Leadership Award. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University.