Celebrating Small Business Growth and Laying the Groundwork for More
by Karen Mills, Former SBA Administrator
- Created: February 17, 2011, 4:27 pm
- Updated: May 16, 2011, 5:29 pm
Over the past two days, we celebrated the success of innovative small businesses that have grown, and we laid the groundwork for even more to follow in their footsteps.
First, on Tuesday, I met with about 50 businesses that have collectively created tens of thousands of good jobs through the Small Business Innovation Research program. Each year, SBIR drives $2.5 billion in federal research and development dollars into the hands of small firms. The goal is to help entrepreneurs develop cutting-edge products and technologies that meet federal research and development needs and can be successful in the marketplace. We gave out the SBIR’s Tibbetts Awards, and we also inducted eight firms, including big names like Qualcomm and Symantec, into the SBIR Hall of Fame because of key SBIR funding in their formative years.
Then, on Wednesday, we rolled out one of the exciting new Startup America initiatives, called the Entrepreneurial Mentor Corps. To build on the excellent job that SBA counselors do to help Main-Street small businesses, we’re aiming to provide targeted and tailored mentoring for high-growth small firms, in particular. Through the initial pilot with the U.S. Department of Energy, four clean-energy “business accelerators” will match about 100 promising entrepreneurs with experienced mentors. The mentors will guide those small firms to the tools, opportunities, and contacts they need to get on the fast track to innovation, job creation and global competitiveness.
About the Author
Karen Gordon Mills is the Former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.
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