Getting financing is a critical step to starting a small business, but it can be difficult if you don’t know where to turn. Now entrepreneurs can get help from a partnership between IEEE-USA and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The SBA is an independent agency of the federal government that guarantees bank loans. It also works to arrange government procurement contracts and assists businesses with management, technical, and training issues. It does so by linking entrepreneurs with lending partners and financial programs across the country, and it guides business owners through the process.
IEEE members had been asking IEEE-USA for help in using SBA services, says Scott Grayson, associate managing director of IEEE-USA, who oversees career-related programs. The goal of the new alliance is for the SBA to help steer IEEE-USA members toward the right financial programs and partners based on their needs and the types of businesses they are starting.
The two organizations are working on rolling out several webinars and workshops that cover such topics as SBA services, how to start a business, and where to obtain funding. In addition, SBA staff members plan to give presentations about the agency at IEEE-USA conferences.
In return, IEEE-USA is providing the names of IEEE members who are experts in a variety of technical fields and are interested in working with the Service Corps of Retired Executives, an SBA partner that provides free or low-cost advice on launching small businesses. Those members can work with the nonprofit association to tailor its message for IEEE-USA members.