Fifth Third Bank and ISBDC Offering Free Online Education Program to Small Business Owners

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Fifth Third Bank and ISBDC Offering Free Online Education Program to Small Business Owners

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In celebration of National Small Business Week June 17- 21, Fifth Third Bank and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) are announcing the offering of one of the largest online resource and education collections for small business owners and entrepreneurs in Indiana. The program is free of charge for Fifth Third customers and ISBDC clients.

SmallBizU elearning University consists of 20 core classes with an additional comprehensive entrepreneurial master class curriculum. This master level consists of two training programs called Pitch Then Plan and Money Training Academy. SmallBizU teaches entrepreneurs about the "3Ms" of business—Money, Marketing and Management. Delivered via the internet, each course is full of animated slides accompanied by voice-over narration, PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, toolsets, and access to a comprehensive knowledgebase.

"The collaborative effort from Fifth Third Bank and ISBDC to provide resources and guidance to existing and new businesses is going to provide entrepreneurs opportunities that they might not have had access to before," said Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann. "As a former small business owner, I appreciate this program and encourage entrepreneurs to take advantage of it—at no cost to their company—to help their businesses grow."

Courses at SmallBizU range from beginner level classes such as Marketing 101 and Finding Money to more advanced courses such as Market Insight and Research and Strategic Planning and Execution.

"The ISBDC helps entrepreneurs start stronger, grow faster and work smarter," says Jacob Schpok, ISBDC State Director. "Through Fifth Third Bank's support, our start-up and existing business clients now have a new, highly effective way to learn outside of traditional workshops and consulting sessions."

In the area of Money, SmallBizU offers courses such as Creating a Loan Package, Finding and Attracting Investors and Accounting 101. Management courses include Crafting a Business Plan, Choosing a Legal Structure and Buying a Business. And Marketing courses include Positioning, Pricing and Strategy Tactics and Understanding Intellectual Property.

The master level course, Pitch Then Plan, is a business planning technique that quickly translates business ideas into business plans. The process starts with a ten-slide business "pitch" which covers the essentials of the business and how it operates. The next step is to complete the "plan".

Money Training Academy is a certificate training program that teaches entrepreneurs the basics of money—where to find it, how to get it, and how to manage it. After the completion of four out of seven courses, entrepreneurs have the ability to obtain a certificate, which can be favorably viewed by banks and investors.

"SmallBizU breaks down education barriers with its online access," said Todd Flick, Senior Vice President, Business Banking, Fifth Third Bank. "We can now provide our business customers throughout the state with a no-cost resource that can help grow their business and, ultimately, the Indiana economy."

SmallBizU is an online academy created by Enterprise Columbus in 2002. Since the inception of the program, thousands of entrepreneurs from across the country have utilized the program. Fifth Third Bank has underwritten the cost of the program for exclusive use in Indiana. It will be made available to business owners throughout the entire Fifth Third Bank footprint in the coming months.

To learn more about SmallBizU, visit, the nearest ISBDC office or any Indiana Fifth Third Bank.


The Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana's small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources. Funding comes from government, organizations, and businesses, committed to growing Indiana and local economies. Statewide funders include The Small Business Administration and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. To learn more about the ISBDC and to become a client visit:

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $121 billion in assets and operates 18 affiliates with 1,325 full-service Banking Centers, including 104 Bank Mart® locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 2,440 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has a 28% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of March 31, 2013, had $318 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $27 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® National Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC.

Lisa Spalding, Associate State Director, 317-234-2077
Fifth Third Bank
Natalie Guzman, Senior Vice President, 317-383-2372

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Indiana  Ohio


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