COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

SBA Scales Up Growth-Oriented Entrepreneurs to Maximize Job Creation

Pennsylvania's The Enterprise Center and Supply Chain Vistas each receive more than $200,000
Release Date: 
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Release Number: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 |

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today its support for seven additional communities through SBA’s ScaleUp America. This initiative helps existing businesses grow and scale, strengthening local entrepreneurial ecosystems around the specific needs of growth-minded entrepreneurs to produce measurable economic impact in local communities.

"Starting a business is tough; growing a business is even tougher," said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. "The SBA's ScaleUp America program offers high potential entrepreneurs the training, support and networks they need to get to scale, enabling them to create three out of every four net new jobs. Small business hiring is the backbone of job growth, and ScaleUp is yet one more way the SBA is working to help entrepreneurs propel our economy forward."

ScaleUp America focuses on inclusive entrepreneurship, which means ensuring that innovators from underserved and underrepresented communities receive the necessary support to help them expand. While women and minorities represent a fast-growing segment of the entrepreneurial population, their businesses tend to be smaller both in revenue and number of employees.  These entrepreneurs frequently lack access to growth capital, sufficient business networks and management support required to grow a business.

The seven new ScaleUp communities represent a diverse range of geographic areas and organizations. From urban to rural, the successful applicants focused on filling the gap in services for growth-oriented small businesses with average annual revenues of $150,000 to $500,000.

The 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 offer a comprehensive program, including delivering four key components: (1) a proven entrepreneurship education curriculum for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small businesses; (2) ongoing, one-on-one support, mentoring and technical assistance; (3) assistance and connections to growth capital; and (4) opportunities to build and strengthen connections and networks in their community.

The ScaleUp America communities include:

The Enterprise Center, Community of focus: Greater Philadelphia region, Pennsylvania

Base year award: $239,323.00

Total potential value of contract with option years: $1,197,279.00

Building on their 25 years of experience with assisting underserved and underrepresented small businesses, the Enterprise Center will operate ScaleUp Philadelphia. The Enterprise Center will support eligible small business owners in Philadelphia, especially those within West Philadelphia and the federally designated Promise Zone, with a comprehensive program of twelve weeks of curriculum and an additional six months of extensive one-on-one mentoring, technical assistance and events in order to accelerate their growth. Complementing their plan, all participating ScaleUp Philadelphia small businesses will become part of a CEO Mastermind group of peer business leaders that will help strengthen connections and networks for their continued expansion.

Supply Chain Vistas, Community of focus: North Central Pennsylvania (six counties of Lycoming, Sullivan, Clinton, Montour, Tioga and Bedford)

Base year award: $219,351.26

Total potential value of contract with option years: $1,156,271.46

Seeking to ensure the entrepreneurial ecosystem can sustain, support and grow North Central Pennsylvania’s economy, Supply Chain Vistas will support growth-oriented, underserved and underrepresented small businesses through ScaleUp North Central Pennsylvania. Their ScaleUp plan will provide small businesses an entrepreneurial curriculum, growth strategy, market research, access to capital and the connections they need to expand their businesses. Meanwhile, with the assistance and support of several local organizations and entities, ScaleUp North Central Pennsylvania also seeks to strengthen the area’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Community of focus: Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton Counties), Texas

Base year award: $240,000.00

Total potential value of contract with option years: $1,200,000.00

The largest metropolitan area in the South, the Dallas/Fort Worth area does not have the level of entrepreneurship among the historically underrepresented and underserved communities to match their population, according to the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Their program seeks to remedy this gap by offering a continuum model for business acceleration for underserved and underrepresented businesses by serving ScaleUp eligible businesses. Each participating small business will undergo an intake process, including a four-hour interactive workshop, SWOT analysis and readiness assessment, before participating in 10 intensive workshops and receiving market research, CEO Exchange, mentors, matchmaking and one-on-one technical assistance.

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Community of focus: Middle Tennessee (14 counties of the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area)

Base year award: $218,594.16

Total potential value of contract with option years:  $1,036,490.00

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC) surveyed its business members in 2014 and identified two gaps within the region: educational programming and access to all business tools and resources. Through their ScaleUp Middle Tennessee program, NACC will help fill these gaps, serving as a central hub for business technical assistance services and supporting small businesses with untapped potential for growth. Each small business owner will attend a 12-week curriculum, receive data-driven market research and connect with a mentor. Additionally, each small business will receive financial analysis to best determine what capital and funding is needed for success.

Startup Junkie Consulting, Community of focus:  Ozark Mountains region (nine-county region covering Northwest Arkansas, Northeast Oklahoma and Southwest Missouri)

Base year award: $200,000.00

Total potential value of contract with option years:  $1,000,000.00

Startup Junkie Consulting will deliver ScaleUp Ozarks, a comprehensive, intensive assistance program to established high-potential, small businesses, particularly women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs, that are primed to move beyond the start-up or early stages. Focused on strengthening the public-private partnerships for small businesses within the Ozark region, Startup Junkie will deliver 45 hours of the Entrepreneurship Program curriculum from the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business supplemented with a speaker series; will offer mentoring counseling, training, support and assistance; will provide connections to growth capital, assist with loan package preparations and facilitate business pitch events to angel and venture funds; and will help participating small businesses build and strengthen connections and networks.

Thurston Economic Development Council Business Resource Center, Community of focus: Thurston County, Washington

Base year award: $189,424.50

Total potential value of contract with option years:  $981,766.94

Working collaboratively with South Puget Sound Community College, SBA and other federally funded resource partners, Thurston Economic Development Council’s Business Resource will focus on helping existing business owners expand and grow their businesses through ScaleUp Thurston. ScaleUp Thurston will focus particularly on supporting traditionally underserved business owners, including veterans, women, tribal members and minorities. Their ScaleUp plan includes a 12-week intensive curriculum; specialized technical assistance, coaching and mentoring; connections to private investors and streamlined access to capital with traditional and alternative lenders; and networking connections within the community.

The University of Texas – Pan American, Community of focus: McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Metropolitan Statistical Area, Texas

Base year award: $240,000.00

Total potential value of contract with option years: $1,200,000.00

With experience as a Small Business Development Center, Procurement Technical Assistance Center and a Veterans Business Outreach Center, the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) will now extend their support to small businesses through ScaleUp McAllen-Edinburg Mission to the four-county area of the southern-most region of South Texas. Participating small businesses will attend three months of weekly entrepreneurial education curriculum, receive one-on-one advising, business planning and loan-package preparation assistance, and benefit from connecting participants with local financing resources. UTPA will also help the small business’ growth by providing cohort participants with access to networking, matchmaking events and roundtables with other small business assistance resources, local and regional manufacturers/suppliers and potential joint-venture partners.

These seven communities will build upon the success and lessons learned from the eight, inaugural ScaleUp communities named last year, located in Aurora, Illinois; Central Ohio; the Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area; the Jacksonville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area; Roanoke, Virginia; Tucson, Arizona; and Western North Carolina.

# # #