Press release 24-35

SBA Recognizes 2024 Small Business Investment Companies of the Year

Awardees from Connecticut and Pennsylvania to be Honored During National Small Business Week Ceremony in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON – Today, Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and voice in President Biden’s Cabinet for America’s more than 33 million small businesses, recognized Argosy Private Equity of Wayne, Pa. and Mizzen Capital, LP of Stamford, Conn. as the 2024 Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) of the Year. The awardees will be honored at a ceremony during National Small Business Week, April 28-May 4. 

“Filling capital gaps is core to the SBA’s mission, and we rely on an incredible network of SBIC-licensed funds to help us deliver. I am proud to recognize two exceptional SBIC funds which, in addition to claiming successful investment track records, demonstrate unwavering support for expanding capital access to small businesses across the nation – especially in underserved and often under-capitalized markets,” said Administrator Guzman. “Argosy Private Equity and Mizzen Capital are helping advance our economy by funding small businesses that are creating jobs and strengthening our nation’s global competitiveness.”

This year’s awards were presented in two categories – “Emerging Manager” and “Established Manager” – recognizing the diverse and dynamic work of the fund manager in the SBIC program at different points in the asset management business lifecycle. 

“Every year, the SBA recognizes emerging and established fund managers in the SBIC Program that exemplify the SBIC program mission and values,” said Bailey DeVries, Associate Administrator of the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. “This year we honor a long-standing SBIC partner as well as a rising star, which both play equally important roles as capital allocators to America’s small businesses, helping to start, scale, and sustain businesses and jobs across all corners of the country.”

2024 SBIC of the Year – Emerging Manager:

Mizzen Capital, LP – Stamford, Connecticut
Marilyn Adler, Managing Partner
Elizabeth ‘Liddy’ Karter, Managing Partner

Mizzen’s objective is to provide debt investments into U.S.-based, underserved companies in the lower middle market, tailoring capital structures to fit small businesses' needs while prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of investment strategy. A certified women- and minority-owned firm, Mizzen embraces diverse perspectives and seeks to foster a collaborative culture based on trust, respect, and integrity.

Mizzen targets its investing activities in companies across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, industrial, business services, healthcare services, information technology, and energy transition. Target investments range in size of up to $30 million in companies typically generating revenues of less than $100 million. 

Since SBIC licensing in 2020, Mizzen has invested in 36 companies, with approximately 44% located in low-income areas and 64% in smaller enterprises, creating a projected 1,724 jobs. 

2024 SBIC of the Year – Established Manager:

Argosy Private Equity  Wayne, Pennsylvania
Kirk Griswold, Founding Partner
John Kirwin, Founding Partner
Keven Shanahan, Managing Partner
Michael Bailey, Partner
Don Charlton, Operating Partner

Argosy’s objective is to grow the revenue and profit of small businesses by improving operations and ultimately spurring job creation. For more than 27 years, Argosy pursued its investment strategy in six SBICs, the most current licensed in 2021. 

Argosy targets lower middle market investments in family- and founder-led businesses, with a majority being in smaller enterprises. Argosy’s focus includes niche manufacturing and B2B services companies largely located outside urban and suburban areas, including Low- or Moderate-Income (LMI) areas and HUBZones. Argosy implements its proprietary Value Acceleration Methodology process, which is a business system of more than 40 best practices to support and grow small businesses.

Since 1997, Argosy has invested $1 billion into 135 small businesses headquartered across 34 states with operations in 45 states and employing over 46,000 employees. Argosy has a track-record of increasing revenue by 56% by the third year of investment and has achieved an average 44% job creation rate per company.

The SBIC of the Year award is administered by the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. For more information on the SBIC program, please visit

For more information about National Small Business Week, visit    


Co-sponsorship Authorization # 24-1-C. SBA’s participation in this Cosponsored Activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any Cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.


About the SBIC Program
Since 1958, the mission of the SBIC program has been to stimulate and supplement the flow of private equity capital and long-term loan funds which small businesses need for the sound financing of their business operations and for their growth, expansion, and modernization which are not available in adequate supply. SBA accomplishes its mission by licensing privately-owned and professionally managed funds that provide financings, using privately raised capital and SBA-guaranteed leverage, to small businesses seeking access to capital. To learn more about the SBIC program, visit

About National Small Business Week 
In the spirit of National Small Business Week, we celebrate the unprecedented growth of entrepreneurship in the United States, marked by 16 million new business applications since the Biden-Harris Administration took office. This surge highlights the dynamism and innovation that America’s entrepreneurs bring to our local communities. The SBA will continue to champion the endeavors of small businesses and the vital role they play in driving economic prosperity across the nation. 

About the U.S. Small Business Administration 
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. 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, 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. To learn more, visit

Media contacts

U.S. Small Business Administration