America's smallest businesses will now have access to more training and technical assistance to help them start or grow a business under a new program funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Under the PRIME program â Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs â the SBA will provide federal funds to community-based, regional and national organizations that in turn will offer training and technical assistance to low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs with small businesses of five employees or less.
"The PRIME program was created to help the smallest of small businesses. These are entrepreneurs at the most basic stage of starting a business and who typically require the greatest amount of committed service and guidance," SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto said. "In order to succeed, they require training and technical assistance that must be accessible."
While the U.S. Department of Commerce has estimated that more than two million businesses in the United States are operated by low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs, other studies indicate that only a mere fraction of this population receives business assistance. The major focus of the PRIME program is business-based assistance to precisely these low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs who lack sufficient training and education to gain access to capital to establish and expand their own small businesses.
The SBA has selected 69 organizations in 28 states to provide this service. During this inaugural year of the PRIME program, SBA is focusing on economically distressed areas.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners who may qualify to receive training or technical assistance under the PRIME program should contact a local SBA district office listed on the SBA Web site.