Small Business Investment Company of the Year

Information about eligibility and how to submit a nomination package for the Small Business Investment Company of the Year Awards.


The Small Business Investment Company of the Year Awards include Emerging Manager SBIC of the Year and Established Manager SBIC of the Year. These awards are presented to Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), licensed pursuant to Section 301 of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, that have demonstrated exceptional participation in the SBA Debenture program to enhance access to capital for America’s small business. 

Award eligibility

Who is eligible to be nominated for this award?

  1. Only SBIC management teams that have at least three years of SBIC operating history, have SBICs in good financial and regulatory standing, and have submitted their latest required annual Form 468 will be considered for award.
  2. More than one SBIC management team may be selected for award. 

Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for this award?

  1. SBIC Portfolio Companies.  
  2. Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal Government. 

Who may submit nominations for this award?

  1. Individuals or organizations dedicated to the support of the small business community in the United States, such as trade and professional associations and business organizations, may submit nominations for the Small Business Investment Company of the Year award.
  2. Individuals may self-nominate.

How to apply

What information must the nomination package contain?

Nominations must contain the information below. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered.

  1. A completed SBA Form 3300, Award Nominee Background form. For “team” nominations, a background form is required for each team member; 
  2. A completed Authorization, Grant & Release of Materials form. For “team” nominations, a release form is required for each team member. 
  3. A completed SBA Form 3314, Small Business Investment Company of the Year nomination form.
  4. A digital photo – of at least 300 dpi is required – for each SBIC management team member being nominated or one photo of the entire management team. No logos or company names may be visible. Photocopies are not acceptable. 
  5. Any other supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation, nomination letter (if not self-nominated) and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination. Supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages. Videos will not be considered. 

Where are the nominations to be sent?

All nominations for Small Business Investment Company of the Year Awards must be submitted electronically via the SBIC Awards upload link. Nominations should be scanned and submitted as one single file. Management team member photo(s) should be submitted as separate attachments, following the quality guidance provided above.

Each electronic document uploaded to the box account should use the following naming convention: [SBIC Name]-[Estab or Emerg Nom]-[Form # or Photo]-[Individual Last Name].

When is the deadline for nominations?

Nominations must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. ET, December 7, 2023.

How is the winner selected?

What are the evaluation/selection criteria?

The selection will be based on overall SBIC performance, not just relative to other SBICs, but to the broader industry within the lower middle market, including the following to be addressed to the extent practicable in SBA Form 3314: 

  1. Demonstrated commitment to supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses, including but not necessarily limited to job creation and retention, penetration in underserved markets, and commitment to communities served.
  2. Commitment not just to financial return on investment, but to public focus and well-being, such as investing strategies focused on small business manufacturing and/or technologies critical to national security and economic development. Although the entire body of work of the SBIC will be considered, this might also be demonstrated by a specific achievement reflecting positively upon the SBIC program and the Agency. 
  3. SBIC managers should describe how the fund’s participation directly added value to a small concern. For example, has the SBIC been able to attract other sources of capital with which to partner in order to provide a small concern additional equity, senior debt or subordinated debt and thus more financing capacity? Or, has the SBIC contributed as a board member in a manner that helped a small concern come up with new products or processes? 
  4. Positive working relationship with SBA and a clean compliance record.
  5.  SBIC Managers with multiple SBIC fund history should note total years of experience with the SBIC program and list all SBIC licenses with dates of licensing and license surrender, if applicable. 
  6. Quantitative criteria: 
    • Fund performance.
    • Longevity (in the SBIC Program). 
    • Size (by private capital commitment). 
    • Amount invested. 
    • Number of Portfolio Companies financed. 
    • Number of jobs sustained and created. 
  7. Qualitative criteria: 
    • Fit with the SBA mission. 
    • Community involvement. 
    • Service to underserved markets. 

What are the selection procedures?

The winning SBIC(s) for Emerging Manager and Established Manager will be chosen by the SBA Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation based on, but not restricted to, the recommendations of a panel of judges that may be comprised federal employees. 

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Last updated September 7, 2023