President Barack Obama’s first-ever Twitter Town Hall at the White House sparked some great questions about small business. To keep the conversation going, we launched Your #smallbiz Twitter Town Hall Questions blog series last week. This week, we’re answering your questions about business opportunities for young entrepreneurs and green business.
As part of the Startup America initiative, SBA held roundtables across the country about barriers facing entrepreneurs. Questions about business loans for college students and recent graduates frequently came up. It’s important to note that many of our tools can be helpful to young entrepreneurs. For instance, our microloan program provides loans to entrepreneurs and small business owners who need a small infusion of capital to start or expand their business. We encourage you to visit our Loans and Grants page where all our loan programs are listed and available to young entrepreneurs.
Another tool you may find helpful is the SBA Online Community, which houses articles and advice from tens of thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs. We also have resource partners like SCORE, Small Business Development Centers and Women's Business Centers that offer free mentoring, coaching and advice for every stage of your business - from starting up, to writing a business plan, to accessing capital and expanding your operation. You can search for your nearest SBA resource partners using SBA Direct.
Finally, we’ve set up a new page specifically for young people interested in starting a business. This new page has links to resources and online courses geared specifically towards young entrepreneurs to help them start up, expand and create jobs.
Right now, green tech companies have access to the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) which provides funds for startups that are working towards the commercialization of technology, products, or services. SBIR, which is administered by the SBA, works by reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for small business and enables small business to compete on the same level as larger businesses. For opportunities through the SBIR program, visit SBIR.gov.
We understand it’s important that green tech companies have the resources they need to startup and expand because it’s a win-win situation for our environment and economy. Last month, SBA Administrator Karen Mills made a visit to (SBA assisted) MBA Waste Services LLC, agovernment-permitted facility that recycles construction waste materials right outside of Atlanta, GA. From capital received through an SBA 504 loan, MBA Waste Services LLC opened a new facility where they’re able to recycle 50 tons of construction debris a day and will hire 30 new employees.
For more information about starting or running a green business, check out SBA’s Green Business Guide.