ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) entrepreneurial development programs. Congress has authorized the SBA to carry out a network of programs to provide small businesses with quality training, counseling and access to resources. The SBA delivers this critical technical assistance to small businesses via SBA resource partners located throughout the country. The specific SBA programs and services include:
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
The SBDC program offers “one-stop” assistance for individuals and small business owners seeking management and business counseling services. As the SBA’s largest non-financing program, the SBDC program is a unique collaboration of SBA funding combined with state and private sector resources. Throughout the U.S. and the territories, 63 lead centers manage more than 950 service center delivery points to satisfy the counseling and training needs of roughly 650,000 business clients annually. SBDCs focus on providing marketing, financial, and business planning services through counseling and training. Special emphasis areas include manufacturing, procurement, technology transfer, disaster recovery, technology, market research, and international trade. To learn more about the SBDC program or to locate an SBDC near you, please visit http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/index.html.
SCORE’s primary product is the business knowledge of its nearly 11,000 volunteer working and retired business professionals who donate more than 1.1 million hours of service annually. SCORE mobilizes this experience to assist entrepreneurs and emerging small businesses. Distinct in the federal government as the only volunteer business advisor and mentoring program, SCORE adapts its structure and services to meet the needs of small businesses in any type of economic climate. To find out more about SCORE, or to find a volunteer counselor who can help you, please visit http://www.score.org.
Women’s Business Centers (WBCs)
The WBC program has more than 100 locations, hosted by nonprofit organizations, which provide long-term training and counseling to encourage small business ownership among women. The WBC’s competitive grant award program is administered through the SBA’s Office of Women's Business Ownership. To find out more about the SBA’s assistance for women entrepreneurs or to locate a WBC near you, please visit http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/onlinewbc/index.html.
Veterans Business Outreach
The Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) promotes veterans’ small business ownership by conducting comprehensive outreach through program and policy development and implementation, ombudsman support, coordinated Agency initiatives and direct assistance to veterans, service-disabled veterans, Reserve and National Guard members, and honorably discharged active duty personnel. For more information on veteran entrepreneurship, please visit the Veterans and Reservist Employees section, or visit http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/ovbd/index.html.
Program for the Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME)
The Program for Investment in Entrepreneurs (PRIME) provides grants to microenterprise organizations throughout the country to offer training and technical assistance to low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs. This training is available to all applicants regardless of whether they are or are not seeking a loan. PRIME also provides limited grant funding for capacity building among community-based microenterprise organizations. The funds allow microenterprise development organizations to build their management, outreach and program design capacity to offer more services to their clients. Additionally, PRIME grant recipients can also maximize their funds by leveraging other state, local, and private dollars to increase the amount of funds available to provide resources for organizations offering services in low- and moderate-income communities. To learn more about the PRIME program, please visit http://www.sba.gov/services/financialassistance/sbapartners/prime/index.html.