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Turning Innovation Into Jobs: SBA Licenses First Impact Investment Fund Partner

Karen Mills, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, announces the first public-private partnership of the Impact Investment Fund, which will focus on growing businesses in Michigan

Ed. Note: Cross posted from the SBA's Open for Business blog

Startups and “high-growth” small businesses are responsible for the lion’s share of net new job creation in the U.S. each year. That’s a key reason that we launched an Administration-wide effort called Startup America earlier this year.

As a critical part of that, SBA made a commitment to invest up to $1 billion in underserved communities and emerging sectors over the next 5 years.

Today, we were delighted to announce the first public-private partnership of this Impact Investment Fund.  This first effort will focus on growing businesses in Michigan.

Why Michigan?

First, the need is there.  Unemployment is high in Michigan, with over 90% of counties in economic distress as defined by the Commerce Department.  It’s an economy in transition.

Second, the opportunity is there.  Michigan has one of the highest engineers-per-capita of any state.  It also has a well-trained workforce with great universities. Many high-growth firms in Michigan simply need more capital to grow, scale up and hire.

We also saw a number of key players who shared a vision for greater entrepreneurship and growth in Michigan, including experienced investors who already had a track record of investing in small businesses across the state.

Through this new partnership with Michigan Growth Capital Partners and Michigan-based Dow Chemical Company, we can leverage even more money into Michigan’s small businesses – up to $130 million, with up to $80 million coming from SBA.  And, importantly, this SBA program is subsidy-neutral, so we can do it at no cost to taxpayers.

At a time when even the most promising small businesses face challenges getting access to capital, the Impact Investment Fund is a great example of a public-private partnership that is stepping in to meet a critical need.  We look forward to announcing more partners in the future in other regions and sectors. 

Through Startup America and critical efforts like the Impact Investment Fund, we will continue to accelerate entrepreneurship and turn innovation into jobs. Find out more about this effort here.