According to Entrepreneur.com, small businesses represent more than 99.7% of all employers; employ half of all private-sector workers and 39% of workers in high-tech jobs; provide 60% to 80% of the net new jobs annually; and pay 44.3% of total U.S. private payroll.
Yet, they, particularly those in underserved communities, often have a tough time getting the resources needed to prosper.
The U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders hope to counteract that reality. Recently, the two entities teamed up to launch the Business Smart Toolkit, a ready-to-use workshop toolkit that equips faith-based and community organizations to help new and aspiring entrepreneurs launch and build businesses that are credit ready.
“We can’t wait for aspiring entrepreneurs to come to us; we need to reach out to them where they are,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “The Business Smart Toolkit allows us to work more effectively alongside local partners in underserved communities to ensure that all Americans have access to the government and private resources available to support their entrepreneurial dreams. Minority firms are a fast growing segment of the U.S. economy, generating $1 trillion in economic output, yet they typically encounter higher borrowing costs, receive smaller loans and face more rejections. I applaud NAGGL for joining the SBA to focus on expanding lending to underserved communities to ensure that all key drivers of the U.S. economy are able to contribute at their full potential.”
The toolkit is intended to educate and enable small business owners – from those looking to open their first small business, to established business owners hoping to expand and grow. It contains a variety of small business and financial literacy topics that include business start-up basics, the essentials of becoming credit-ready, and resources for small business education and support.
“Small business ownership takes courage and determination. We must promote and inspire entrepreneurship and the Business Smart Toolkit is an innovative way to bring the highest-level of business insight to American entrepreneurs across the country,” said Tony Wilkinson, president and CEO of NAGGL. “Our partnership with SBA unites our expertise and resources. Together, we hope this toolkit will inspire Main Street entrepreneurs to open their doors.”