The SBA’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which works to expand awareness, participation and success in America’s small business landscape for underserved communities, ended 2014 on a high note.
President Obama pledged 2014 as a year of action, and the SBA’s efforts to help expand the reach and impact of agency programs in underserved communities through policy, programming and public engagement were noted in a recent White House 2014 year of action report. The report highlights some of the work with faith-based and community organizations that have been a vital link between our nation’s citizens and the benefits, services and protections they need.
Two initiatives launched by the SBA to help create economic opportunities for all Americans Business Sunday and the My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative were highlighted in the report. These initiatives advance economic opportunity for all Americans.
Here’s more on those two programs:
- Business Sunday – In 2014, the Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Commerce and the SBA launched a new program, Business Sunday, that works with faith and community groups to connect current and future business leaders with valuable federal resources to help them start or expand their businesses. This program involves local Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) business centers partnering with SBA field offices and local congregations or community groups to share information on federal business development resources, and provide attendees an opportunity to connect with field staff.
- My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative – The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the SBA is supporting the goals of My Brother’s Keeper initiative through the SBA’s Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative which addresses high unemployment while supporting skills development among young people of color through self-employment and entrepreneurship.
The initiative is a four-part strategy that will include:
- A public awareness campaign to educate and inform millennials about the resources available to them.
- A national tour of community colleges and minority-serving institutions to raise awareness about entrepreneurship and the skills needed to start and grow a small business.
- A free online training module designed for ex-offenders to prepare them for successful re-entry by exploring entrepreneurship and self-employment
- A “Business Smart” toolkit for faith-based and community organizations to teach entrepreneurship basics and financial literacy. SBA’s Offices of Entrepreneurial Development and Faith-Based and Community Initiatives are developing resources and partnerships with faith-based and community organizations to support this initiative.
We are proud of the work we’ve done to help provide the nation’s small business community with the tools they need to build strong businesses and create jobs. As 2015 begins, we’re looking forward to continued progress, with a keen focus on execution and results.
January 21, 2015
By Sarah Bard | Director of Faith Based and Community Initiatives