President Barack Obama recently proclaimed April National Financial Capability Month. Recognizing the importance of financial planning in achieving the American Dream, this month calls on individuals to empower themselves by seeking knowledge and tools for strong financial capability.
In today’s world economy, financial capability is vital to entrepreneurs and small business owners trying to start, grow, and succeed in the marketplace. Whether your target market is global or your local neighborhood, SBA’s network of Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE chapters can help at every stage of turning your entrepreneurial dream into a booming business. Additionally, SBA’s Online Learning Center offers free online courses to help you brush up on your business skills.
I personally believe that financial capability encourages financial stability for individuals, families, and communities. The more small business owners know about business credit and loans, the more likely they are to succeed in securing their next loan to start or grow their business. If you want to start a business or learn how to better manage your business finances, begin with Money Smart. SBA and FDIC collaborated to provide an instructor-led business training program, Money Smart for Small Business, for free. This program is designed to provide introductory-style training for new and aspiring entrepreneurs. The 10 modules provide the most essential information on running a small business from a financial standpoint.
So far, more than 1,300 copies of the Money Smart for Small Business course have been ordered and more than 50 Small Business Training Alliance members have used the course. It’s been an invaluable tool for small businesses looking to improve their financial capability and education. Small business owners, those without formal business training, financial institutions, small business assistance centers, city and county economic development offices, faith-based organizations and others have found the program greatly beneficial.
For free resources on money management and on making the best financial decisions for you, visit www.MyMoney.gov or call 1-888-MyMoney.read more
Note: this post is by Donna J. Butler, SBA’s Senior Sustainability Officer & Deputy Chief Operating Officer
SBA helps small businesses find solutions to make their operations run efficiently. That’s why this Earth Day and e…read more
If you’re a woman-owned small business looking to contract with the federal government and seeking assistance on how to navigate in the federal procurement arena, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has good news for you!
In FY 2012, the…
Are you a self-starter? Do you have a general-management skill set? Are you used to constantly changing roles and responsibilities? Are you disciplined and focused? Are you risk-tolerant and able to manage stress?
These are the threshold questions that SBA counselors ask every day to help prospective entrepreneurs assess if they have what it takes to be a successful small business owner. And when those questions are put to veterans of the U.S. armed forces, they often get “yes” replies.
The military has a track record of producing outstanding leaders, which helps explain why nearly 1 in 10 U.S. entrepreneurs are veterans. Statistics show that vets are 45 percent more likely to be their own boss than their non-veteran counterparts. Veterans own 2.5 million American businesses that employ more than 5.8 million people. These companies generate more than $1 trillion in sales a year. (That’s a staggering sum. You could pay the salaries of 57 million Army privates with a trillion dollars.)
Our veterans have worked hard and made so many sacrifices for our country. They have put themselves in harm’s way and often must leave their families behind to keep America safe. At the SBA, we have a solemn duty to work as hard for them as they’ve worked for us. No one deserves to live the American Dream more than those who’ve put on a uniform and fought to defend it.
On Tuesday, I attended the “Boots to Business” program at the Pentagon. In a small classroom of students, primarily service members transitioning out of the Air Force, the SBA put on a two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” course that focused on how to translate military experience into succeeding as a small business owner. I was inspired by the power and diversity of these heroes’ dreams: aspirations to open a medical practice, a flight services engineering firm, a cybersecurity company, a photography business, a veterinarian practice, and a barbecue restaurant, to name just a few.
This year, the SBA will train 15,000 transitioning service members and introduce them to the basics of business ownership. After the two-day intro class, SBA offers an intensive eight-week course to help these leaders evaluate their business concept and develop viable business plans. SBA then continues to provide guidance through our resource partner network in communities across America by offering one-on-one assistance to assess and mitigate risk, comply with regulations, access financing and create new jobs.
I’ve started three businesses, and I know it can often seem like a lonely road. But there are resources available; you just need to know where to look. In the military, you get used to being part of a team … and not just any team, but the finest team in the world: the United States Armed Forces. I promised the members of that class – and I extend this promise to all veterans – that if they pursue their dreams of opening a new business, they won’t be alone. The SBA will be right by their side, offering counseling, contracting opportunities, and access to capital.
The SBA will be their wingman, fighting for them and with them, every step of the way.read more
Access to capital is the number one concern for entrepreneurs and small business owners. However, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, are you prepared to access capital for your business? SBA and Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. have teamed up for a webinar series this month to help entrepreneurs and small business owners learn how to build business credit and prepare for a business loan. This webinar series is free, but registration is required.
5 Steps to Building Business Credit [SOLD OUT]
A recording of this webinar will be available on SBA’s YouTube channel.
April 22 | 2:00-3:00 pm EDT
In this webinar, 20 +year business credit veteran Amber Colley shares real life business success stories and failures as a result of the care of or the lack of attention to establishing, monitoring and building strong business credit. Learn the basics of business credit and the different ways it can impact a company’s ability to manage cash flow, access funding, become a successful supplier, win a contract and more.
- Why you should care about business credit?
- Who are we?
- Understand how business credit works.
- Concrete steps you can take to improve your business credit.
Access to Capital: Preparing to Meet Your Lender [SOLD OUT]
A recording of this webinar will be available on SBA’s YouTube channel.
April 30 | 2:00-3:00 pm EDT
Do you think a bank loan will help you grow your business? Do you know what it takes to get that loan? Have you considered alternative lending options? How about equity options? For many, the journey to access capital for a startup or growing business can feel like a daunting excursion into the unknown. The good news is that there are plenty of organizations in your area that have the resources and assistance to help you prepare. In this webinar, learn about the resources available in your area that provide business and technical assistance, and how to prepare for your journey to access capital.
- What are the lending options available to business owners in today’s climate?
- How do business owners who successfully get loans prepare before meeting a lender?
- What are the Federal resources available to help you get further educated on your options?
At the SBA, one of our core objectives is to provide access to capital, but that’s not the end of our commitment to America’s small business owners. It’s the beginning.
We know small businesses need reliable lending to grow, but we also know it’s important to provide entrepreneurs with information about business fundamentals, regulatory compliance, how to access government contracts and how to network your way into new opportunities and new customers.
While I’m only on Day 5 in my new role as SBA Administrator, it’s already abundantly clear to me that the work of our Office of Entrepreneurial Development is vital. By working with our partners to provide technical assistance, counseling, training, and mentoring, we are providing game-changing advice to help small businesses grow their profits and their payrolls.
I’ll never forget a meeting I had with the head of a public utilities agency back in California years ago. He had worked with a program very much like our Emerging Leaders initiative, which helps underserved businesses grow their companies and compete for public contracts. This executive told me that he had a strong preference to contract with companies whose leaders had been through programs like ours.
He said emerging leaders “get it.” They are more sophisticated. They speak the language of business. They know how to run sound operations and how to problem-solve. He said these small businesses are, plain and simple, better partners.
On Thursday, I attended the kickoff of our Baltimore Emerging Leaders class. The national statistics for small business owners who’ve gone through the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program are remarkable: two out of three leaders have increased their revenue; three out of four have hired new employees; and nearly half have secured government contracts.
The United States government buys more than $400 billion worth of goods and services every year, making Uncle Sam the largest buyer in the world. That’s an uncle you want to do business with.
Three months ago, SBA did a focus group with our Baltimore alums who took this class in previous years. We asked them how many of them are “8a certified,” meaning they are underserved businesses that are preferred partners for sole-source federal contracts. Three out of four possess this certification.
To date, 2,000 business executives have gone through our Emerging Leaders program, and they have secured more than $1 billion in contracts and accessed $73 million in new financing. Emerging Leaders is a program that can open lucrative doors for America’s small businesses. It’s why I went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday – my second full day on the job – to make the case to the Senate Small Business Committee for a $15 million appropriation to fund Entrepreneurial Education in the coming fiscal year.
A wise man once said, “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” At the SBA, taking care of business is our business, and it has been for 61 years. That means we’re committed to ensuring that our small business owners have the tools to compete in the federal procurement arena and realize their full potential.read more
I had the pleasure to recently participate in the White House Business Council’s Roundtable with Muslim American Business Leaders that brought together the business and faith-based community for a dialogue on how to support small businesses that …read more
These U.S. Small Business Administration resource partners have almost 1,500 locations across the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico to help veterans who want to start their own business or grow an existing business. All partners can advise veterans on small business loans and provide training and support on a wide variety of challenges small business owners face, from access to capital to marketing.
Veterans Business Outreach Center
Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, support and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans who already own or are considering starting a small business. For more information, visit: http://www.sba.gov/content/veterans-business-outreach-centers.
Women’s Business Centers
Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) are designed to assist women start and grow small businesses. WBCs operate with the mission to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the world of business. WBCs offer comprehensive training and guidance on a variety of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses. For more information, visit: http://www.sba.gov/content/women’s-business-centers.
Small Business Development Centers
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. SBDCs foster local and regional economic development through job creation and retention. SBDC clients receive free, extensive, one-on-one, long-term professional business advising, low-cost training and other specialized services. For more information, visit: http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-development-centers-sbdcs
SCORE: Counselors to America’s Small Business
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Volunteer business counselors, advisors and mentors provide free, confidential business counseling, free business tools, and inexpensive or free business workshops to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. For more information visit: www.score.org
SBA District Offices
SBA District offices offer one-on-one and group programs on a wide variety of business topics for aspiring and existing small business owners, as well as connections and referral to lenders. Ask to speak to a Veterans Business Development Officer (VBDO) or a staff member who is available to help you start, manage and grow a successful small business. For more information, visit: http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/districtofficesread more
Today, with appreciation and humility, I begin my work as SBA Administrator and a relentless advocate for America’s 28 million small businesses.
My journey as a first-generation immigrant born in Guadalajara, Mexico, to President Obama&…