SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet Announces Priorities for SBA

2:21 PM June 16, 2014

Last week the new Small Business Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet gave a speech at the Center for American Progress, announcing her priorities for the SBA.  Many of these points and statistics are of particular interest to Women Impacting Public Policy and women entrepreneurs.  For instance, women-owned businesses have grown by a remarkable 20 percent in just five years.  More than a quarter of our small businesses are now owned or led by women!

A few highlights of the expanded efforts of the SBA:

Modernize its Capital Access Programs 

The Office of Capital Access has been testing and refining a predictive business credit scoring model for more than a decade, combining an entrepreneur's personal and business credit scores. The SBA's total credit score will make it easier and less time-intensive for banks to do business with the SBA.  Effective next month, the SBA's total credit scoring model will be made available to all lending partners for loans of $350,000 or less.  It will simplify and streamline the lending process and get more small loans into the hands of entrepreneurs, especially the underserved. 

Tailor SBA programs to be more inclusive and reflective of Changing Demographics

The SBA will counsel and train 15,000 transitioning service members through the Boots to Business Program.  It has been so popular with our troops and so cost-effective that it's being expanded.  Starting this summer, in 12 cities across America, the expanded program, Boots to Business: Reboot will be accessible to the 23 million veterans who've already made the transition to civilian life.  The first class will kick off at the White House on July 11th. 

Serve as a "market maker" for Small Businesses

Women entrepreneurs are considered under-represented in 83 of the 260 industry categories.  Under Administrator Contreras-Sweet, SBA staff has been instructed to conduct a formal study required for the SBA to re-visit the contracting landscape to ensure women have optimal access to the federal supply chain.  Furthermore, Contreras-Sweet is encouraging Congress to give federal agencies sole-source authority in order to level the playing field for women-owned businesses.

 

Click here to read the full speech and fact sheet highlighting the prioritization of sole source authority and expansion of the WOSB procurement program.

 

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