Access to Capital for Startups and Small Businesses

Mark Walsh, Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation at the U.S. Small Business Association, discusses resources to help small businesses and startup access the outside capital they need to grow.

With over 30 years of experience as a technology entrepreneur, Mark Walsh has taken turns as a Fortune 500 senior executive, angel investor, venture capitalist, and startup founder. 

Resources

SBIC
A multi-billion dollar program founded in 1958, the SBIC Program is one of many financial assistance programs available through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The structure of the program is unique in that SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds, licensed and regulated by SBA, that use their own capital plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration does not invest directly into small business through the SBIC Program, but provides funding to qualified investment management firms with expertise in certain sectors or industries.

Connecting Borrowers with SBA Approved Lenders
This is an online referral tool to connect small business borrowers with participating SBA Lenders. Prospective borrowers complete a short online questionnaire. The responses to that questionnaire are forwarded to participating SBA Lenders that operate within the small business’ county.

SBIR
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

Office of International Trade
As SBA’s office for the support of small business international trade development, the Office of International Trade works in cooperation with other federal agencies and public- and private-sector groups to encourage small business exports and to assist small businesses seeking to export. Through 19 U.S. Export Assistance Centers, SBA district offices and a variety of service-provider partners, they direct and coordinate SBA’s ongoing export initiatives in an effort to encourage small businesses going global.