Starting Your Business


Resources to get you started

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has many useful resources and information to get you started on your business. You can explore different topics such as creating a business plan, obtaining licenses permits, and filing and paying taxes all in one place.

SBA’s Business Plan Tool provides you with a step-by-step guide to help you get started. All of your information entered into this tool is fully secure and can only be viewed by entering the password that you have chosen for your SBA Business Plan Tool account. Not only can you save your plan as a PDF file, but you can also update it at any time, making this a living plan to which you can often refer.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) also has resources and readings to help you start your business.

Capital and funding opportunities

U.S. Department of Treasury
On September 27, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (the “Act”). Under this law, the U.S. Department of Treasury provides three different capital and funding programs to assist small businesses.

  • Small Business Credit Initiative: A fund of $1.5 billion to strengthen state programs that support lending to small businesses and manufacturers.
  • Small Business Lending Fund: A dedicated fund designed to provide capital to qualified community banks and Community Development Loan Funds (CDLFs) in order to encourage small business lending.
  • Community Development Financial Institutions Fund: The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund was created for the purpose of promoting economic revitalization and community development through investment in and assistance to CDFIs.

U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Financing a business is never simple whether it’s a start-up or a business that’s been around for years. From initial seed money to working capital needed to keep operations going and to pay bills, access to capital remains a major barrier to many minority-owned firms. MBDA can help you better position your company through the following resources.

Small Business Administration (SBA)
Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. SBA provides small businesses with an array of financing for small businesses from the smallest needs in microlending to substantial debt and equity investment capital (venture capital).

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
SBIR is a highly competitive award-based program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. The mission of this program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a stronger national economy. The SBIR homepage provides an overview of this program, while agencies will provide details on its individual programs.

Currently, 11 federal agencies participate in the program. The participating agencies are:

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
STTR is another program that expands funding opportunities in federal innovation research and development (R&D). A unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for businesses to formally collaborate with research institutions in Phase I and Phase II of R&D. STTR’s role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations. This program’s goals are to stimulate technological innovation, foster technology transfer between small businesses and research institutions, and increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from research and development.


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