Op-Ed: Top-notch SBA resource partners help entrepreneurs thrive
The U.S. Small Business Administration is focused on elevating America’s 30 million small businesses, the engines of our national and regional economies. Collaboration with our resource partners is essential to our mission of helping them start, grow and expand.
The SBA provides access to capital, training and additional resources to help small businesses start and grow their operations and accelerate growth. SBA resource partners — SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers — complement our agency’s work by providing quality one-on-one counseling and mentorship that can help unleash a small business’s potential.
They provide small business owners with priceless commodities: education and confidence to move forward. Whether they need help creating a successful business plan, getting expert advice on expanding, or training their employees, the SBA’s national network of resource partners can help — usually for free or at an extremely low cost.
If you’re an entrepreneur just starting out, SBA resources can help you organize your thoughts on what type of business you want to open and how to set it up. They can also help you obtain financing and develop your business management skills…or just the opportunity to talk about them with an expert.
SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors, harnesses the passion and knowledge of real-world executives to provide invaluable guidance in person or via email or video chat. Visit sba.gov/score to start working on your business goals or schedule an appointment with a SCORE counselor.
Small Business Development Centers provide free counseling and low-cost training on topics such as marketing, regulatory compliance, technology development, international trade and more. Find your local SBDC at sba.gov/sbdc.com.
Women’s Business Centers offer a national network of community-based resources for counseling, training, mentoring and referrals. For your nearest Women’s Business Center, visit sba.gov/women.
Veterans, military members or military spouses can receive business training, counseling, mentoring and referrals to other SBA resource partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, which can be found at sba.gov/vboc.
The SBA also offers an internet-based training portal, the Small Business Training Network, which provides more than 25 free, self-paced courses and links to a wide array of online resources. Interactive assessment tools are available to guide clients to appropriate training. Get more information HERE.