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House Members Look to Improve on SBA’s Innovation Initiatives

  • House subcommittee focuses on current innovation initiatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Members look for opportunities for federal investments and improved diversity in the innovation space
  • Those testifying note the importance of initiatives that can support early-stage, pre-revenue companies that can’t take advantage of traditional SBA programs

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

A recent hearing before the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access focused on the innovation initiatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration, which members said can help support small businesses and improve the nation’s long-term economic prospects.

The hearing looked at potential avenues for federal investments in innovation and how to improve diversity in the innovation space. The subcommittee also noted how the United States has slipped in innovation rankings, and that a decline in innovation can have negative effects such as lower wages, weaker economic growth, lower productivity, and higher consumer prices.

  • Hearing included a review of the SBA initiatives run by the Office of Investment and Innovation and how they could be improved
  • Those testifying noted the importance of programs such as the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition to support early-stage, pre-revenue companies that can’t take advantage of traditional SBA programs
  • Chairwoman Sharice Davids say other issues have presented barriers to entry, including greater challenges faced by women and minorities in starting a business due to difficulties in accessing capital or credit
  • Davids says only 12 percent of federal spending and 2 percent of the nation’s GDP is currently focused on innovation

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