The U.S. Small Business Administration is continuously exploring new ways to make small business ownership more accessible to all citizens. The Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative is the most recent way we are working to connect underserved populations with entrepreneurial resources and services.
About the Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative
The new initiative expands access to entrepreneurial education and microloans to formerly incarcerated individuals, with a specific focus on those who are parents.
The initiative aims to increase the financial capability of the previously incarcerated and facilitate income generating opportunities. In addition to entrepreneurial education, microloans of up to $50,000 will be available to participants who demonstrate the capacity to start and run a business.
Why this is an important focus to the SBA
An estimated 60 percent of formerly incarcerated individuals remain unemployed one year after their release, raising the risk of recidivism and resulting in lost lifetime earnings. Further, nearly 1 in 28 U.S. children have a parent who is currently incarcerated and nearly half of all U.S. children have at least one parent with a criminal record. This initiative is designed to leverage existing resources and build an infrastructure to improve the lives of the formerly incarcerated and their children.
A local extension of the SBA Microloan Program
The Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative loan terms will be the same as those of the SBA Microloan Program, which was recently adjusted to allow eligibility to individuals on parole or probation. This change was made to aid individuals who face significant barriers to traditional employment; and, is included in our ongoing conversations and work with local microlenders.
At the SBA, we believe by embracing an inclusive vision of entrepreneurship – one that draws upon entrepreneurs from all communities, from all demographics, and from all backgrounds – will continue to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs.Print This Post