Lawmakers Call for Renewed Investment in Entrepreneurship Programs

February 11, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – February 11, 2009 – Lawmakers in the House Committee on Small Business today examined the state of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Entrepreneurial Development (ED) Programs, saying the services they provide would be important to the nation’s economic recovery.  ED Programs provide technical assistance and guidance to Americans seeking to start a new business venture.  The programs are also important for existing firms that are trying to grow and create jobs during the slow stages of an economic recovery. Lawmakers today said it is important to ensure ED Programs are well positioned to serve the economic recovery and promote job growth.

“Every one dollar spent on these programs to help Main Street businesses puts another $2.87 back into the economy, a far better return than Wall Street is enjoying,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY).  “400,000 new American businesses crop up each year, and Entrepreneurial Development Programs can help them stay afloat, flourish and contribute to economic recovery.”

ED Programs have been shown to increase the success of businesses.  Studies have found that firms that take advantage of Entrepreneurial Development Programs’ technical expertise are twice as likely to succeed, compared to competitors who do not utilize these services.  In 2008, Entrepreneurial Development Programs helped generate 73,000 new jobs and drove $7.2 billion into the economy. 

“To get out of this recession, we need to stop the job losses, and we need to replace the jobs that are already gone,” said Velázquez.  “While there is no silver bullet solution to our economic troubles, small businesses promise the surest path to recovery. Entrepreneurial Development Programs can help jumpstart that recovery.”

Much of the hearing focused on how to improve specific programs, such as Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Witnesses at the hearing included Administrators from Entrepreneurial Development Programs who discussed how these programs are tailoring their services to adjust to the current economic difficulties. 

“In the best of times, starting a new business can be daunting and entrepreneurs can often feel like they are on a perpetual learning curve.  In this economy, ED Programs will be even more important as small firms need access to every available tool to stay afloat and ultimately create jobs,” Velázquez added.  “As our nation moves toward economic recovery, ED Programs will be important not only in helping new small businesses succeed, but also helping existing entrepreneurs thrive.”