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Ranking Member Chabot Looks to Ensure Entrepreneurial Resources are Effective

Ranking Member Chabot Looks to Ensure Entrepreneurial Resources are Effective

Washington – The House Committee on Small Business met today for a hearing titled, “Supporting America’s Startups: Review of SBA Entrepreneurial Development Programs.”  Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH) delivered the following opening statement:

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Time and again, this Committee has lauded the importance of small businesses to the American economy.  The impact that over 30 million small firms has on our nation simply cannot be overstated.  Given the vital nature of small businesses, providing resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed must be a priority.  The Small Business Administration’s, or SBA’s, Entrepreneurial Development programs provide those important resources.

The SBA Entrepreneurial Development programs include Small Business Development Centers, or SBDCs; the Service Corps of Retired Executives, or SCORE; Women’s Business Centers, or WBCs; and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, or VBOCs.

These programs provide small business owners and entrepreneurs with technical and managerial training related to creating, running, and scaling a small business.  While collectively these programs have provided business training and counseling to more than 1.5 million individuals in Fiscal Year 2017, each SBA Entrepreneurial Development Program is tasked with offering a unique and tailored curriculum.

The SBDC program is the largest and highest funded Entrepreneurial Development Program, with nearly 1,000 locations across America, and provide a broad range of business counseling and training aimed at meeting the needs of both nascent entrepreneurs and existing small business owners.

 While SBDCs focus on counseling and training, SCORE is tasked with providing mentorship.  With roughly 800 locations nationally and over 11,000 volunteer mentors, SCORE seeks to pair entrepreneurs or business owners with a SCORE mentor who can offer specific and tailored business guidance.

The WBC program provides business training and counseling specifically tailored to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs, often proving long-term training courses on nights and weekends at their 100 plus locations.

Finally, VBOCs are responsible for providing entrepreneurial resources and transition assistance to our nation’s veterans through both 20 center locations and at military installments throughout the country. 

Each of these Entrepreneurial Development programs plays a specific role in ensuring that our nations small business owners have the resources they need to be successful.

Today’s hearing will allow us the opportunity to learn more about these programs and how they serve America’s entrepreneurs, while allowing us to ask the questions of ‘what’s working’ and ‘what needs to be improved’ within these programs.  I look forward to hearing from our witnesses and to having a productive conversation. 

Thank you and I yield back.