President Barack Obama recently proclaimed April National Financial Capability Month. Recognizing the importance of smart financial planning in achieving the American Dream, this month calls on individuals to empower themselves by seeking knowledge and tools for strong financial capability.
Nowhere is financial literacy more important than in the small business community. Small businesses are the embodiment of the American dream and the backbone of the American economy, creating 64 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and 2011.
Financial literacy for small business owners is imperative to making sound business decisions in an environment where financial services are often handled in-house. The success or failure of a small business in its early stages is often dependent on the financial capability of the enterprise’s leadership.
In this vein, the federal government is doing their part to promote financial capability and literacy for small businesses. Since its founding the U.S. Small Business Administration has helped secure millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.
Last year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and U.S. Small Business Administration partnered to create Money Smart for Small Business, a training curriculum for new and aspiring business owners. The FDIC and SBA have also formed a Training Alliance for organizations that continues to support small businesses through training, technical assistance or mentoring.
The 10 modules in the instructor-led training curriculum provide introductory training for new and aspiring entrepreneurs on the basics of organizing and managing a business. In addition to grounding participants in the basics, the curriculum serves as a foundation for more advanced training and technical assistance. The modules are: Organization Types, Time Management, Financial Management, Record Keeping, Banking Services Available for Small Businesses, Credit Reporting, Risk Management, Insurance, Tax Planning and Reporting, and Selling a Small Business and Succession Planning
To date, over 12,000 copies of the Money Smart for Small Business curriculum have been ordered and more than 10 Training Alliance Members have implemented the curriculum. The program has been an invaluable tool for small business seeking to improve their financial capability and literacy. Small business owners, persons without formal business training, financial institutions, small business development centers, city/county economic development offices, faith-based organizations and others have found the program greatly beneficial.
Another government tool promoting financial literacy is Mymoney.Gov, a Website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether a person is buying a home, balancing their checkbook, or investing in their 401(k), the resources on MyMoney.gov can help individuals maximize each and every financial decision. In addition, the site contains important information from 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help them make smart financial choices.
These programs are easily accessible and simple to use with the click of a button.
From more information on Money Smart for Small Business or to order the curriculum visit http://www.sba.gov/moneysmart .