To empower America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy
Small business entrepreneurship is a proven pathway for Americans from all walks of life to build income, independence and financial security for themselves, their families and their employees. In particular, businesses owned by people of color, women and immigrants, and those in rural communities are a growing and vibrant element of our economy. Yet these entrepreneurs encounter many obstacles due to entrenched discriminatory policies and practices, challenges that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To have a truly thriving and equitable recovery, we must put small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs, particularly those in under-resourced communities, at the forefront. If provided the proper resources along with smart public policies designed to unleash their potential, these entrepreneurs will bolster our recovery by injecting vitality into communities, providing quality jobs and boosting prosperity for all.
Since our founding in 2005, Small Business Majority has served as a trusted hub for the resources and policies that are necessary to empower under-resourced businesses to thrive and to build a truly equitable economy. We do this by connecting small business owners with the education and resources they need to start, grow and sustain their business. We focus our efforts at the federal level, via our nine offices across the country and in 18 targeted states covering two-thirds of the U.S. population.
We serve all entrepreneurs but focus on reaching under-resourced entrepreneurs, including women, people of color, immigrants and those in rural communities. Our national network of small businesses reflects these priorities: two-thirds are people of color and women, and nearly 3 in 4 are microbusiness owners (with fewer than 10 employees) and self-employed individuals.
Our three organizational initiatives are:
1. Small business education and resources: We provide a suite of educational programs and resources to small business owners, their employees and self-employed entrepreneurs to empower them to start and grow their enterprises and maximize their economic prosperity.
- Our online resource hub Venturize.org provides on-demand information for small business owners on a host of topics, including access to capital, COVID-19 relief, retirement, and healthcare and other workforce benefits. Our interactive tools help businesses find trusted entrepreneurial support organizations and mission-driven capital providers in their community.
- Our in-person and online educational seminars educate small business owners, small business employees and the self-employed on a variety of practical business topics and pertinent policy issues. We partner with national, state, regional and local business organizations to reach as many business owners as possible.
- We also use an array of channels to regularly engage our network of small business owners and organizations. And we work with our partners to distribute our educational resources to their members.
2. Policy & advocacy: We develop and support policies that benefit the entire small business ecosystem—ranging from boosting access to responsible capital, ensuring affordable access to quality healthcare and other essential benefits, and promoting fair competition.
- Spokespeople: We recruit, train and deploy small business owners to share their personal perspectives on issues of importance to themselves and their employees.
- Coalitions: We organize and participate in coalitions of organization partners working to enact policies to best move the needle and bring about change.
- Media: We elevate the small business voice by connecting our small business spokespeople to media interviews and placing letters to the editor and op-eds in well-respected news outlets.
3. Research & insights: We conduct wide-ranging research to understand small business owners’ needs, challenges and opportunities. Focused on uncovering the perspectives of businesses owned by people of color, women and other under-resourced entrepreneurs, we communicate our findings to policymakers, the media and other stakeholders.
- Working with professional polling firms, we conduct scientific surveys of small business owners on a variety of issues to inform our policy positions and proposed solutions.
- We conduct surveys of our diverse, 85,000-strong network to give us a nuanced, real-time perspective on the challenges these entrepreneurs are facing.
- We conduct focus groups, spearhead collaborative research, and conduct other qualitative and quantitative assessments to glean insights into small business and entrepreneurship.
- We work with academic and other research institutions to aggregate and synthesize data to better understand the challenges faced by under-resourced entrepreneurs and assess the benefit of public policies and targeted resource interventions.