Press release RO24-06

SBA Administrator Guzman Announces Important SBIC Program Milestones at White House Convening of Investment Industry Leaders

Biden-Harris Administration Delivers on Policy Reforms to Diversify and Expand Access to Private Equity and Debt for Small Businesses and Startups

WASHINGTON– On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the voice in President Biden’s cabinet for America’s more than 33 million small businesses, led a White House convening with National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard to announce progress in expanding access to private equity and debt capital for more American small businesses and innovative startups as a result of regulatory reforms to the SBA’s $42 billion Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program.

Administrator Guzman was joined by over 60 leaders from private investment firms, limited partners, and industry associations. Speakers included Brett Palmer, President of the Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA); Frank St. John, COO of Lockheed Martin; Laurie Giandomenico, SVP of MITRE Ingenuity; Steve Glover, CFO of Pelion Venture Partners; Damien Dwin, Founder and CEO of Lafayette Square; and Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, COO of National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC).

As a part of the President’s Bidenomics agenda to grow the economy from the middle out and bottom up, Administrator Guzman announced key SBIC licensing milestones made possible by the SBIC Program regulatory and policy reforms, which will lead to increased funding for small businesses and startups in underserved and undercapitalized markets and critical technologies. These milestones include licensing and committing up to $125 million in SBA government-guaranteed funding to the first Accrual SBIC Licensee and SBA Green Light Approval to raise private capital for the first SBA-DoD SBIC Critical Technologies Initiative (SBICCT) License Applicant. These actions deliver on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to increase access to private equity and debt capital for small businesses and startups in underserved communities, diverse and emerging private fund managers, undercapitalized critical technologies, and innovation investment.

“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the SBA is committed to expanding equitable access to capital to more entrepreneurs, especially those who have been undercapitalized,” said SBA Administrator Guzman. “With our recent reforms of the SBA’s Small Business Investment Company program, we are taking the necessary steps to diversify and expand our investor network and better deliver on our mission to provide equity and debt for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. We were proud to join partners at the White House to highlight the SBA’s reforms and the SBIC applicants and licensees who are helping us fill capital gaps in underserved communities, capital-intensive industries, and technology areas critical to our national security and economic development.” 

“Following the recent regulatory reforms, SBIC funds can represent a spectrum of investment strategies, stages, industries, and geographic focus. The federal government can now amplify private sector investment in capital-constrained and underserved markets as a result of the Biden-Harris Administration’s transformation of this longstanding public-private investment program,” said SBA Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation Bailey DeVries. “By strengthening, diversifying, and expanding our network of SBIC-licensed private funds, the SBIC Program will help fill funding gaps and unlock potential in underserved and undercapitalized small businesses, innovative startups, and businesses developing technologies critical to national and economic security.”

Today’s announcement builds on major investments the Biden-Harris Administration has made to support small businesses, spur record job growth, and create high-quality jobs in critical industries of the future, including work done through the Biden-Harris Administration’s Workforce Hubs and Advanced Manufacturing Sprint.

Since 1958, the SBA has licensed and regulated private market investment funds as “SBICs.” SBICs invest equity or lend private capital, plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee, to make equity and/or debt investments in small businesses and startups.  

Today, the SBIC program is comprised of more than 310 discrete private funds across mezzanine, private credit, buyout, growth, venture, and multi-strategy, which collectively have more than $42 billion in public and private assets under management (AUM). Last year, SBICs invested $8 billion in more than 1,500 companies that created and sustained over 130,000 U.S. jobs.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration  

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. Learn more at

About SBA Office of Investment and Innovation  

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) leads programs that provide the high-growth small business community with access to two things: financial capital and R&D funds to develop commercially viable innovations. Our work is underpinned by public-private partnerships that help small businesses on their trajectory from idea to IPO. Learn more at 

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