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News & Press: SBA News

SBA Unveils New Learning Portal for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, November 20, 2012  
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SBA Unveils New Learning Portal for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

 

 by Michael Chodos, SBA Official

Global Entrepreneurship Week is an opportunity to celebrate innovative entrepreneurs and small business owners. In the U.S. alone there are 28 million small business owners and they create two out of every three new jobs in America. But, there are so many more people with the entrepreneurial spirit and I have the great fortune of meeting many of them through my travels. Global Entrepreneurship Week is a time to ensure America’s budding small business owners have more tools to help them turn their passion into business or turn that great idea into a new venture.

Often times, small business owners will share stories about how SBA’s resources have been vital or how they are in need of finding the right help. This is one of the reasons why SBA continually strives to ensure that small business entrepreneurs have access to the resources they need for their business, including information on startup how to’s, marketing, financing, contracting and more.

We’ve learned valuable feedback from entrepreneurs who rely on our website to educate themselves about small business ownership and listened to what they said. We acknowledged that the user experience to access online resources needed to be easy, efficient and engaging. Today I am pleased to share that SBA is launching a new online learning center.

The learning center is a redesigned, online learning portal for small business entrepreneurs. It has a streamlined, searchable catalog of small business educational resources including self-paced courses, videos and web sessions. The resources may be sorted by topic, making it easier to quickly locate helpful information. For instance, if you want to take a course on how to write your business plan, the learning center is a one-stop destination to find the course as well as other supporting content.

We know that your time is precious, and the Learning Center’s design significantly reduces the number of site pages that users have to visit to find a video or online course.

The learning center’s features include:

  • Information available everywhere at any time for small business entrepreneurs
  • Improved navigation that gives users one-click access to small business courses, videos or web chat sessions
  • A quick snapshot of each form of media, including a brief description and system requirements
  • Free online courses on topics such as How to Write a Business Plan, Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business for Young Entrepreneurs, Government Contracting 101, Green Business Opportunities and Encore Entrepreneurs: An Introduction to Starting Your Own Business
  • Recommended courses, videos or web sessions based on selections that the user makes while navigating

I also encourage entrepreneurs to connect with SBA’s mentor network for further assistance. Local Assistance, a location-based map, allows you to connect to your nearest SBA District Office, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), SCORE Chapters, Veteran’s Business Outreach Centers and Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), where you can receive helpful counseling, training and mentoring from any of these resources for starting, growing and managing your small business. You may simply enter your zip code to get access to descriptive information about each SBA resource and narrow your search based where you would like to go for assistance. It’s that easy.

SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development, in collaboration with our entire communications team, is continually exploring other ways to offer engaging materials to help keep your entrepreneurial enthusiasm going.


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