Karen Mills, the recently appointed SBA Administrator, appears to be utilizing her venture capital roots to guide her as she works to reinvent the long-stagnant and moderately effective Small Business Administration.
In a recent address to members and staff of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Administrator Mills revealed her vision for the future of the government organization tasked with jump-starting the economy thru the growth of small businesses. And that vision appears to have a great deal of clarity, including the need to assist small businesses not only with debt financing to grow their businesses, but also aiding them in locating equity financing resources. She further discussed her past work with business clusters, which are geographic concentrations of inter-connected businesses that share knowledge and resources to spur innovation, economic growth and higher wage employment, and how those clusters and the resources they provide can be utilized to help spur further small business growth overall. Read a re-cap of her appearance HERE.
Obviously it’s too early in her tenure to see any dramatic results since she was appointed only one month ago, but we are happy to see that she seems to understand that ‘business as usual’ will not produce the necessary results to aid in the growth of small businesses, and that substantial organizational change at the SBA needs to become the standard program.