The Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans Region has won the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award, which goes to the top small business development center in the nation.

The center beat out more than 1,000 small business development centers nationwide for the award. The New Orleans center, now in its 31st year, is a partnership of Loyola University New Orleans, Delgado Community College, Southern University at New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Director Carmen Sunda has been with the center since 2003. She and her team have served 9,501 clients and trained 18,527 individuals since then. The team helped clients create 2,113 jobs and save 3,599, secure $123 million in capital, start 340 new businesses and increase sales by $477 million.

Sunda will accept the award during a private ceremony held in conjunction with National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., June 17 to 21.