New milestones announced represent the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expanding SBIC program investments to high tech small start-ups and advanced manufacturing small businesses

Yesterday, the White House National Economic Council (NEC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) hosted a convening with business leaders from around the country to celebrate recent Biden-Harris Administration reforms to the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program that expand the spectrum and diversity of private sector capital supporting small businesses and innovative startups. As a part of the President’s Bidenomics agenda to grow the economy from the middle out and bottom up, SBA announced the first SBIC licensee under the new reforms, and the first applicant to be greenlit to raise private capital under a new SBA-Department of Defense partnership focused on investing in small businesses supporting critical technology and manufacturing priorities vital to U.S. national security.

Federal officials, small business owners, investment professionals, and industry association leaders participated in a roundtable discussion about how the reforms will help amplify private sector investment in capital constrained and underserved markets. Under President Biden’s small business boom, Americans have filed a record 16 million new business applications, a sign of the hope and confidence in the economy from entrepreneurs and small business owners.

SBIC funds across the country manage over $42 billion in SBA-backed and private capital, providing equity investment and long-term loans to small businesses in a wide range of industries. In just the last year alone, SBICs have created or sustained more than 130,000 jobs, building on major investments the Biden-Harris Administration has made to support small businesses, spur record job growth and create high quality jobs in critical industries of the future. Financing to women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned small businesses from the SBIC program totaled nearly $670 million, over a 25% increase from the year prior. SBA’s SBIC Diversification and Growth reforms that went into effect last August improve the ability for SBIC funds to bridge key funding gaps and provide patient capital to historically underserved small businesses.

At the convening, SBA made two landmark announcements about licensing milestones made possible through these reforms. First, SBA announced that a fund managed by Pelion Ventures was the first fund licensed as an Accrual SBIC under SBA’s new SBIC Diversification and Growth rule. SBA will commit up to $125 million to the Accrual SBIC fund as a match to private limited partner capital raised by this Salt Lake City based early-stage technology venture capital firm to support early-stage companies in industries such as software infrastructure, information services, developer tools, consumer technology, and e-commerce. Second, SBA announced Stifel North Atlantic received the first approval to raise private capital for the Additive Manufacturing (AM Forward) fund, as a part of the SBA-DOD SBIC Critical Technologies (SBICCT) initiative, a new partnership between SBA and DOD that will invest in manufacturing and service businesses that support the supply chains of leading defense, aerospace, and energy manufacturers. In seeking an SBIC license for this fund, Stifel North Atlantic aims to promote the advancement of numerous additive manufacturing production capabilities including workforce training, part design, machining and inspection, and part qualification, with the objective of increasing advanced manufacturing capabilities in the domestic supply chain. These milestones represent a spectrum of investment strategies, stages, industries, and geographic focus and reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to serving all small businesses.

During the discussion, small business owners reflected on how critical SBIC funds have been to their ability to scale up and grow, including one small business owner who credited SBIC support with helping increase revenue ten-fold. Fund managers discussed how these reforms to the SBIC program address persistent gaps in capital-intensive and frontier technologies, as well as how the recent reforms provide new tools that improve their ability to invest in a more diverse ecosystem. Other business leaders stressed the importance of public-private partnerships in catalyzing small business development, especially in regions that have historically lacked access to private capital.

Participants included:

  • Isabel Guzman, SBA Administrator
  • Lael Brainard, National Economic Advisor
  • Damien Dwin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lafayette Square
  • Laurie Giandomenico, Senior Vice President of MITRE Engenuity
  • Steve Glover, Chief Financial Officer of Pelion Venture Partners
  • Eric Hare, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Global K9 Companies
  • Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, Chief Operating Officer of National Association of Investment Companies
  • Brett Palmer, President of Small Business Investor Alliance
  • Ryan Porter, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of LiveView Technologies
  • Frank St. John, Chief Operating Officer of Lockheed Martin


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