Who We Are

The Maryland Business Opportunity Center (MBOC) is dedicated to assisting and enhancing traditional business assistance programs such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE, Apex Accelerators, and the Veterans Business Opportunity Center (VBOC). We collaborate with these organizations to support entrepreneurs from disadvantaged, low-income, and underrepresented communities, including BIPOC individuals, women, veterans, and LGBTQ+ individuals who may not yet be prepared for traditional business assistance programs. Our primary goal is to empower underserved entrepreneurs to overcome their unique challenges and foster more significant equity and inclusivity within the small business ecosystem.

About Us

MBOC's unique focus is equipping individuals from underrepresented communities, including BIPOC individuals, women, veterans, and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, for seamless integration into established business support systems. We collaborate closely with SBDC consultants, local organizations, and community partners to identify and bolster those facing obstacles when launching or expanding their businesses. Our services encompass mentorship, counseling, training, access to funding, and expert guidance in navigating entrepreneurial resources. MBOC is committed to ensuring every entrepreneur has the tools and support to flourish and achieve their business goals.

The Maryland Business Opportunity Center supports aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in Maryland, guiding them through developing and expanding their business offerings. Our comprehensive services span from crafting a solid business plan, securing the necessary funding, and effectively marketing your products or services.

The MBOC is operated by the University of Maryland and partnered with the Maryland Small Business Development Center.

Our Team

Eric Marshall, ASBC, CBC bio photo

Eric Marshall, ASBC, CBC

Program Director

Eric is serving as the Program Director at the Maryland Business Opportunity Center (MBOC), a program of the SBDC at the University of Maryland since June 2023. He obtained his Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and Masters of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis at Rutgers University, and the University of Texas Austin. Certifications include SHRM-CP, Project Management Professional (PMP), Diversity Equity & Inclusion, and Strategic Planning, Association of Small Business Consultants, and Certified Business Consultant.

Prior to accepting his appointment at UMD, with 20 years of military experience, and helping veterans, he served as a Project Manager at the Maryland Department of Labor Veterans Program where he was instrumental in helping transitioning service members, spouses, and veterans eliminate significant barriers to employment, and gain meaningful employment. He is also a career US Army Officer, West Point Military Academy Instructor, and Human Resources Manager with three tours of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Eric is also an established entrepreneur with two successful companies that are certified as Minority, Veteran, and Service Disabled Small Businesses.

Jada Riley bio photo

Jada Riley

Intake Coordinator and Program Support

Jada Riley is a proud graduate of Towson University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. As the Intake Coordinator for the Maryland Business Opportunity Center (MBOC), Jada plays a vital role in assessing the needs of first-time clients and referrals and connecting them with the center’s Business Development Specialists to receive tailored support and guidance.

Prior to her role at MBOC, Jada gained valuable experience as an intern for the Baltimore Region SBDC, where she helped develop training, webinars, and workshops to provide current and prospective small business owners with information and assistance to start, grow, and sustain their ventures. Jada is driven by her passion for entrepreneurship and is eager to assist Marylanders in pursuing their entrepreneurial aspirations. With the help of her colleagues, Jada hopes to spur new business starts, drive capital infusion, and generate success stories for underserved members of the business landscape.

Virginia Dinzey-Taveras bio photo

Virginia Dinzey-Taveras

Bilingual Business Development Specialist

Virginia is distinguished as a business growth strategist and professional facilitator with more than 16 years of experience as a business executive, including CFO and COO roles. Dinzey-Taveras has dedicated her studies to business administration and is a two-time masters-level graduate specializing in business management, operations, and productivity.

She has been taught and coached by eCornell and Morgan State faculty in entrepreneurship and business growth strategy. In addition, Dinzey-Taveras is a Certified Business Consultant to empower small business owners and entrepreneurs to level up their strategy and operations to scale their businesses.

Her passion is to support others in their entrepreneurship journey resulting in increased confidence, practical skill development, and the strategies necessary to reach target markets and achieve growth opportunities. As a results-driven empowerment-focused expert, who serves her clients with empathy and integrity, Virginia has proven to be an incredible asset to business owners and their future success with fast-track business growth resulting in expanded company portfolios.

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