Empower to Grow

Individualized coaching and training to help disadvantaged small businesses and others grow with government contracts.


About Empower to Grow

The Empower to Grow program, formerly known as 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance program, provides eligible disadvantaged U.S. small businesses with free business courses, tailored training, and one-on-one consulting to support their growth, operations, hiring, regulatory compliance, and government contracting competitiveness. The Empower to Grow program uplifts businesses to be procurement ready for federal, state, and local government contracts. 

As a priority of Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, the Empower to Grow program recently underwent significant improvements including:

  • Customized one-on-one training tailored to small business needs
  • Networking and matchmaking events with agencies & prime contractors
  • Relaunching Federal Market Acceleration Program (FedMAP), a 3-month government contracting training led by business development experts that now features one-on-one coaching
  • A federal contractor master class with new tools & techniques for small business bidding, including Sources Sought & Request for Information requirements
  • Multilingual counselors fluent in Spanish and other languages
  • New tools for 8(a) firms to access $2 trillion in state and local bid opportunities

Program benefits

Businesses in the program receive training, executive education, and one-on-one consulting in a wide range of activities, and the opportunity to participate in courses in the following areas:

  • Finding, bidding, and completing government contracts
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Business development
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Financial analysis
  • Compliance
  • Cybersecurity and ecommerce
  • Business-related software/technology

Program qualifications

To be eligible for the Empower to Grow program, a small business must be one or more of the following:

  • Located in areas of high unemployment or low income
  • Owned by low-income individuals
  • Certified as an 8(a) participant, HUBZone small business, or economically- disadvantaged women-owned small business.

Training opportunities

Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship

Serving the following SBA Regions:

  • Mid-Atlantic – MD, DE, PA, VA, DC, WV
  • Rocky Mountain – CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY
  • Pacific – AZ, HI, CA, NV, GU
  • Pacific Northwest – AK, ID, OR, WA

Coley & Associates, Inc.

Serving the following SBA Regions:

  • Great Lakes – OH, IL, IN, MI, MN, WI
  • South Central – AR, TX, LA, NM, OK
  • Great Plains – IA, KS, NE, MO

Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC)

Serving the following SBA Regions:

  • New England - CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
  • Atlantic – NY, NJ, PR, VI
  • Southeast – AL, GA, KY, MS, NC, FL, SC, TN


Serving all SBA Regions.

Need help?

If you have questions about the Empower to Grow program, contact SBA's Office of Business Development at e2g@sba.gov.

Short URL: sba.gov/e2g
Last updated March 25, 2024