The Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program is designed to help minority-owned businesses succeed in the small business world. The program provides one-on-one counseling, training programs, and guidance for entrepreneurs to grow and develop their businesses.
Read on to see if your company qualifies for this program and how the program can help your small business:
1. Who qualifies for the SBA 8(a) Program?
Certain groups that are considered socially and economically disadvantaged will qualify for the SBA 8(a) Program. The groups that are recognized by the SBA include African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans. If you are not a member of one of these groups, you might still be able to qualify for the program, but you must first provide significant evidence and documentation that proves you have experienced discrimination and disadvantages.
2. What benefits does the SBA 8(a) Program offer?
The SBA will provide assistance in terms of business development for those minority-owned small businesses that qualify for the program. Moreover, the agency can pair each minority-owned firm with an established company that can provide technical support, joint venture opportunities, and managerial guidance. The Mentor-Protégé Program is a subset of the SBA 8(a) Program.
3. If my business doesn’t qualify for the 8(a) Program, are there other options for disadvantaged businesses?
Yes. The SBA also has the HUBZone Program, which aids small businesses in specially designated areas to attain opportunities for federal procurement. Additionally, the SBA also has a program called the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, which sets aside federal contracts for female entrepreneurs who qualify for the program. A similar program, the SBA’s Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program, aids veteran-owned companies.
Biz2Credit (www.biz2credit.com) experts are available to help women, veterans, and members of minority groups choose the right financial path. Call (877) 861-2210 and ask to speak to a loan specialist.