This month the Small Business Administration, SBA, is celebrating 70 YEARS of assisting entrepreneurs nationwide with resources, capital, educational programs, and so much more. The agency made the commitment back in 1953 and has been playing a pivotal role in small businesses since. On today’s SBA Update, we’re joined by Allen Thomas, SBA Regional Administrator, to share how they’re helping entrepreneurs today.
Whether you’re trying to start a local business or have world-domination aspirations, the SBA is the place for you. For example, companies like Nike, Apple, Ben & Jerry’s, Chipotle, Under Armour, and so much more began their journey with the advice, investment, and details provided by the SBA. Allen claims that as an entrepreneur, you may be great at technology or great in your particular business, but you may have no clue how to put the structure together. So, the SBA provides resources like the small business development centers, SBDC. Allen says, “That’s the real secret of SBA; we have a circle of resource partners in every community.”
The sole purpose of SBDCs is for entrepreneurs to walk in with an idea that will later get turned into a business plan or model. Then retired executives will determine whether you’re funding ready, or if not, they’ll give you ways to improve it.
As of recently, SBA launched its new initiative catered to the women and men surrounding the military and their families. The Military Spouse Pathway to Business program exposes military spouses to the essential components of entrepreneurship through a live or online course. The course provides a focused curriculum, peer group, and schedule tailored to the needs of military spouses. The program teaches the fundamental skills needed to create a business plan and assess business ideas. The program also offers avenues for spouses to get start-up money, technical support, and land contracting opportunities.
In addition, SBA’s Veteran Business Outreach Center offers training, government contracting opportunities, and programs to highlight specific advantages to push its free Boots to Business initiative that demonstrates business fundamentals from walking in and starting from the beginning. Allen says, “All we need is your passion to be successful.”
The ability to grow and change has been detrimental to the organization as America continues to change. Statistics show that this decade will be for women entrepreneurs, particularly the women of color entrepreneurs. Allen asserts, “Our team is trying to meet them where they are, show them they can access capital, and show them we can get them the proper support and resources to launch their business and do so internationally.”
For more information, go to SBA.Gov or reach out to Allen personally at Allen.Thomas@SBA.gov