When Lauri Jo Bennett decided to start a business, she had just four recipes handed down from her great-grandmother. Now, her company has 37 products, 22 employees and is sold in 3 countries and 41 states.
“When I first met Donnie Smith, the director for the Center of Innovation (COI) for Agribusiness, I didn’t have a business plan,” said Lauri Jo Bennett, founder of Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Canning. “I didn’t have a clue what a business plan was.” Since she began her business, the COI has provided her with business plan preparation, international business opportunities, revenue generation strategies, food analysis for nutrition labels, food label design and marketing resources.
“Doing business in Georgia is fantastic. Georgia just really has it going on. And everybody from the governor to the lieutenant governor to the ag commissioner, they are all about helping small businesses grow,” said Lauri Jo. “The Centers of Innovation—I just can’t say enough good about them.”