Episode 6

Published on:

15th Mar 2024

Designing an Inclusive and Equitable Technical Assistance (TA) Process

As part of the American Rescue Plan, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) 2.0 is providing billions to support small businesses and drive innovation across the country. In this interactive panel discussion, Host David Ponraj is joined by economic development leaders from California, Iowa and Mississippi as they share how they are designing inclusive, statewide Technical Assistance programs to ensure equitable access to SSBCI capital and resources. Here are some of the highlights:

Overcoming Barriers Through Trusted Connectors

  • Programs bring in trusted community organizations as "connectors" to reach underserved entrepreneurs
  • "It's important to have those boots on the ground, community partners...they're trusted compared to a state office" - Mary Kelly, Iowa Economic Development Authority
  • Minority chambers, local libraries and more help build pathways to overlooked businesses

Designing for Equity and Inclusion From the Start

  • California took an innovative "mesh network" approach by partnering diverse entities across categories
  • "The intent was it would be collaborative...touching every industry from every corner of California" - Shalawn Garcia, California Office of the Small Business Advocate
  • Programs focus on promoting capital readiness and access for all through targeted outreach

Meeting Stringent Reporting & Compliance Needs

  • Robust data tracking and customized systems ensure granular reporting to meet federal requirements
  • Detailed intake surveys capture business intel from the start to streamline compliance
  • "We've been pleased with how easy it's been to modify systems for our specific process needs" - Don Calcote, Mississippi Small Business Development Center

Fueling the Engines of Entrepreneurial Growth

As the SSBCI 2.0 initiative expands access to capital, these states are pioneering inclusive models to clear the path for more diverse founders and businesses to thrive. Through innovative program design and strategic partnerships, they are unlocking entrepreneurial opportunities across America.

Connect with us to see how to design your state’s Technical Assistance program to be equitable, efficient and compliant. Book a call with our team to learn more: https://calendar.app.google/4rVfGh3uJzoP7uVm8

Connect with the Panel:

Shalawn Garcia - CaLOSBA




Mary Kelly - Iowa EDA




Don Calcote - Mississippi SBDC 



#SSBCI #TA #technicalassistance #entrepreneurshipledeconomicdevelopmement #ELED #economicdevelopment #webinar #governmentprogram #programmanagement #accesstocapital

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About the Podcast

Breaking Down Barriers
A Podcast About Entrepreneurship-Led Economic Development
This podcast explores the opportunity to build wealth in local, regional, and national economies through entrepreneurship-led economic development. Episodes feature changemakers with innovative approaches to empowering people to start businesses that create wealth for their families and improve outcomes for their communities. Conversations highlight work being done in communities across the US to break down barriers to entrepreneurial opportunity in underserved and underrepresented communities. In this series, we share authentic stories about the impact that entrepreneurship-led economic development has on the local economy and connect a global network of passionate economic developers. Find out more at economicimpactcatalyst.com/impact