February 14, 2024

SBA: Updated Equity Action Plan Unveiled to Advance Commitment to Investing in Equity

Updates Focus on Providing Access to Capital and Entrepreneurial Support Services, Creating Economic Opportunities, and Advancing our National Economy

Today,  Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice in President Biden’s Cabinet for America’s more than 33 million small businesses and startups, announced the SBA’s updated 2023 Equity Action Plan outlining actionable steps the agency will take to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to investing in equity, including expanding access to capital and revenue growth opportunities; tailoring business counseling, training, and other services; and increasing access to disaster assistance for underserved communities.

“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the face of entrepreneurship is changing as Americans from traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities start businesses at record rates,” said Administrator Guzman. “The SBA’s updated Equity Action Plan recognizes the tremendous value that diverse entrepreneurs bring to our economy in terms of job creation, innovation, and domestic and international competition. As America continues to enjoy an unprecedented Small Business Boom, the SBA remains determined in its efforts to boost entrepreneurship among people of color, women, veterans, and those from rural communities, and this updated Equity Action Plan is a testament to that commitment.”

This Equity Action Plan aligns with the Executive Order that President Biden signed on his first day in office, requiring every federal agency to conduct comprehensive assessments of their programs, policies, and practices to ensure that they equitably serve all communities and individuals – especially those historically underserved.

The SBA identifies underserved communities as those populations and geographic communities systematically denied the opportunity to participate fully in aspects of economic, social, and civic life. Some SBA programs utilize a specific definition for underserved communities and/or disadvantaged small businesses as outlined in program statutes and regulations.

The 2023 Equity Action Plan outlines the following strategies:  

The SBA’s regular engagement with the small business community and its stakeholders helped inform the Equity Action Plan. Through its nationwide network of field and program offices, the SBA communicates directly with entrepreneurs via activities such as training events, small business coaching sessions, office hour calls, and the regulation and policy notification process. SBA also gains insights from Resource Partners, small business trade associations, chambers of commerce, and other entities similarly focused on aiding small business growth.

In addition to this plan, the SBA also highlighted the updates and accomplishments of the first Equity Action Plan, which included:

Read the complete SBA Equity Action Plan here.

Read the White House Fact Sheet on the government-wide Equity Action Plans here.

To learn more about government-wide equity efforts, click here.

This post was originally published here.