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Speeches

The SBA Administrator

MARIA CONTRERAS-SWEET

Entrepreneurial Equality: New Tools for a More Inclusive SBA

 

Thank you, Neera, for that kind introduction and to the entire team at the Center for American Progress for hosting us today.

I recently received a call that would change my life and move my husband and me across the country. Two months ago, President Obama tasked me with three objectives: run an effective SBA, be a strong voice for America's small businesses, and take the agency to the next level. I embraced this exciting and worthy mission, knowing small businesses are the backbone of our economy.

Keynote Address for the National Association of Guaranteed Government Lenders Annual Meeting

 

Thank you, Tony, for that generous introduction.  And thank you to Lynn Ozer, the Board of Directors, and the hard-working NAGGL staff for planning this conference.  I especially want to thank whoever had the idea to meet here in sunny Florida. As Tony mentioned, before I came to SBA, I was a business banker in Los Angeles. There were a lot of April showers in my first month in Washington, so it’s nice to be back in the sunshine talking to my fellow bankers. It feels a little like home – only, less traffic.

Keynote Address to the National Association of Development Companies Annual Meeting

 

Thank you, Sally, for that generous introduction. I’d also like to thank Beth Solomon; the board of directors; and the incredible NADCO staff for your hard work in planning this conference. I’m delighted to be with you here in Colorado Springs.  I feel like I’m among kindred spirits.

I know you’re here because you have a passion for the kind of economic development work that can transform communities. You’re mission-based lenders, and I want to be your champion in Washington because I’m one of you.

Opportunities for Women in Federal Contracting

 

Thank you for that generous introduction. And thanks to all of you for being here. This is a very special day for me. Two and a half weeks ago, Vice President Biden swore me in as the 24th SBA Administrator. President Obama even stopped by my swearing-in to welcome me and talk about the importance of small businesses to our economy.

SBA Administrator Swearing-In Ceremony

 

Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for those kind words. I also want to thank the President for his confidence and for giving me this opportunity to be an advocate for America’s 28 million small businesses. And I want to thank the members of Senate for their vote of confidence.  I look forward to working with all of the members of Congress.

National HUBZone Conference

Good morning.  Thank you, Chairwoman Bailey, for that warm introduction and thanks to you and your fellow Board members for all of your hard work. I also want to recognize Mark Crowley for his dedicated, thoughtful leadership of the HUBZone Contractors National Council. I’m told about one-third of our entrepreneurs who are here today are new to the program, so let me just affirm the critical role that this Council plays to promote economic development and job growth by helping companies like yours get federal contracts.

AARP Ideas@50+ Conference

Thank you, Jeannine, for that generous introduction and for your outstanding leadership as AARP Board President.  It’s great to share the stage with a fellow Californian. I know you all had options today about which speaker to see, and I understand the competing presentation was part of the “travel and lifestyle” track. The fact that you chose the “money and work” track lets me know this is my kind of crowd. Thank you all for coming. 

SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Award Announcement

Thank you for that generous introduction. It’s great to be on a California university campus, as a Cal State-LA alum myself.  I’m proud to be here in La Jolla representing the Obama administration. Thank you all for coming.

The economic leadership we’re seeing here at UC-San Diego is extraordinary. It’s the reason we’ve chosen this campus to make some national news about an important new initiative to support America’s innovators in their efforts to create small business start-ups.

Made in Rural America

Thank you Martha for that generous introduction and to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners for hosting us today. I also want to thank Doug McKalip of the White House Domestic Policy Council for his incredible leadership on issues facing rural America and rural entrepreneurs, in particular. And Phil Karsting, who runs the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service and has been instrumental in promoting ag exports. A special thank you to Tara Rice from the USDA, who has done yeoman's to put this event together.

SCORE 50th Anniversary

Good morning, SCORE, and happy golden anniversary! What a special occasion to be together to celebrate what this organization has meant to America’s entrepreneurs for the last 50 years. Let me start by thanking Tameka for her leadership in our Office of Entrepreneurial Development. I also want to recognize Ellen Thrasher for her passionate advocacy on behalf of the entire SCORE family.

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