The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) have announced the release of 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 just 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, ” she added.
The new toolkit is designed to “train-the-trainer”, such as trusted community leaders, who have the ability and the desire to educate new and potential business owners through a series of workshops in collaboration with the SBA’s field offices and NAGGL members.
“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.”
SBA Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet, who oversees all SBA programs and services throughout NJ, NY, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands said, “We are excited to roll out this new toolkit to faith-based , community organizations and resource partners in our region looking to transform local neighborhoods by spurring economic growth and development there.”
“We are confident that the Business Smart Toolkit will educate and enable small business owners – from those looking to open their first small business, to established business owners hoping to expand and grow,” added LeDet. “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.”