U.S. small enterprise head in Atlanta to debate Black entrepreneurship

That is no less than the third time in current months that Guzman has come to Atlanta, a metropolis that she says is a little bit of a litmus check for the SBA’s efforts in underrepresented communities. Her purpose this journey is to attach Black and minority entrepreneurs to funding and progress alternatives.

“For Black entrepreneurship specifically, we all know capital gaps have been crucial, market gaps have been crucial,” Guzman mentioned throughout a fireplace chat with Silvanus Udoka, dean of the Clark Atlanta College of Enterprise.

“For us to be globally aggressive, for our financial system to thrive, we want our entrepreneurs who’ve confronted limitations of systemic racism to develop of their companies,” she mentioned.

Credit score: Mirtha Donastorg

Credit score: Mirtha Donastorg

However although the variety of Black companies within the nation has grown, the federal authorities continues to be allocating a small share of contracting {dollars} to Black and minority small companies.

In Fiscal 12 months 2022, the newest knowledge obtainable, about 9.6% of federal contracting {dollars} – about $59 billion of the entire $615 billion in contracts – went to minority-owned small companies, in line with an AJC evaluation of federal figures. Lower than 1.6%, or $9.5 billion, of all federal contracting {dollars} went to Black-owned small companies.

Viewers members requested Guzman concerning the issue in getting authorities contracting certifications or analysis grants from the SBA. Guzman mentioned the company was engaged on streamlining its processes and rolling out extra trainings. She additionally identified folks from the Georgia SBA workplace within the room who may assist entrepreneurs navigate the company’s assets.

Whereas at Clark Atlanta, Guzman additionally made a fast cease on the college’s Heart for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Improvement (CIED), which now’s a room the place entrepreneurship lessons are held and college students can entry 3D printers. However in spring 2025, the middle will broaden into a much bigger area, in line with Udoka.

Alongside educating entrepreneurship, the middle will function the hub for the assorted different entrepreneurship initiatives sponsored by non-public fairness, banks and the federal authorities that exist at Clark Atlanta. These embrace the Blackstone Launchpad, the regional hub of the PNC and Howard College Nationwide Heart for Entrepreneurship, Operation HOPE’s 1 Million Black Companies initiative and the State Division’s Younger African Leaders Initiative, Udoka mentioned.

On Tuesday, Guzman will converse on the 2024 Small Enterprise Convention in Atlanta placed on by the Nationwide 8(a) Affiliation, a nonprofit group for corporations that take part within the SBA’s minority enterprise improvement program referred to as the 8(a) program.

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