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SBA Announces Support for Eight ScaleUp Communities, Spurring Job Creation for Growth-Oriented Small Businesses

Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Release Number: 
14-56 NFL
Advisory Date: 
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Miguel Ayala (202) 205-6420

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today its support for entrepreneurial ecosystem development in eight communities through “ScaleUp America.”  This new initiative is designed to provide the necessary support to help companies scale up and grow, while strengthening and enhancing local entrepreneurial ecosystems around the specific needs of growth-oriented entrepreneurs and firms resulting in their ability to produce measurable economic impact and job growth in local communities.

“Today the SBA is announcing funding support for eight communities that will help scalable small firms grow and create jobs,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “Ninety-two percent of new jobs come from the expansion of existing businesses.  We are bringing our successful entrepreneurship education programs to underserved communities, bridging the gaps for those in greatest need across the country. This intensive SBA support will create jobs and support a diverse cross-section of communities across our great nation.”

 The eight ScaleUp awardees were selected from more than 60 applicants to participate in the inaugural group of communities represent a wide range of diverse geographic areas and organizations.  From urban to rural, the applicants focused on filling the gap in services for growth-oriented small businesses with average annual revenue of $150,000 to $500,000.

SBA’s funding will be provided to each ScaleUp community’s organizing entity to strengthen opportunities for small businesses within the community.  The funds will be used to deliver a proven entrepreneurship education curriculum for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small businesses; provide on-going one-on-one support, mentoring and technical assistance; assistance and connections to growth capital; and opportunities to build and strengthen connections and networks in their community.

The ScaleUp America communities include:

StartUp Tucson, Tucson, Arizona

University of Missouri - Kansas City, Missouri

Women’s Business Development Center, Aurora, Illinois

Your Management Team, Inc., Central Ohio

Supply Chain Visions LLC, Roanoke, Va.

Supply Chain Visions LLC, Greater Portland, Maine

Advantage West Economic Development Group, Western North Carolina

University of North Florida, Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), Florida

The five-county region of Jacksonville MSA has been nationally recognized as a small business climate conducive to start-ups and second-stage companies, yet recently has experienced a loss in establishment, sales and job growth for the self-employed and Stage 1 companies.  ScaleUp North Florida will specifically seek to assist these companies through an entrepreneurship education curriculum tailored for this community, management assistance and support based on an in-depth assessment of each business’ needs, access to capital for identified graduates and opportunities to build and strengthen networks.

“Jacksonville is a large city in size, spaced out over 800-square miles, but it is a small city in many ways. There is a deep sense of pride for small business ownership, and there is significant support for entrepreneurs. The Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida is a valuable resource partner for the SBA. The ScaleUp America award will enable UNF and the FSBDC to continue to reach out to emerging businesses to help them create jobs and reach their full potential,” stated Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, North Florida District Director.

The University of North Florida will receive a total of approximately $1.6 million over the course of five years through ScaleUp America.

"The University of North Florida is incredibly proud to be one of the eight national recipients of the ScaleUp America contract," according to Janice Donaldson, principal investigator on the project and regional director of the FSBDC at UNF.  "This opportunity will bring a laser focus to assisting Stage 1 companies with high-growth potential in the Jacksonville metro area.  The end result will be jobs created, sales increased, capital accessed, new markets identified, and a healthier bottom line for participating firms.  ScaleUp America will be a welcome addition to our already impressive entrepreneurial ecosystem."

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