House Small Business Committee Promotes Entrepreneurial Development

The House Small Business Committee passed legislation to reauthorize and improve entrepreneurial development programs at SBA. The Developing the Next Generation of Small Businesses Act of 2016 includes reauthorization of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) Program, improvements to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program and reauthorization of the SCORE Program. For the SBDC program, the bill improves data collection, revises privacy requirements and allows SBDCs to market and advertise their services. Additionally, the bill reauthorizes the Women’s Business Center (WBC) program and makes programmatic improvements including:


  • Increases Program Authorization
    • The program authorization level will be increased to $21.75 million from the current authorization level of $14.5 Million;
  • Increases Grant Awards
    • Maximum grant awards to WBCs will be increased from $150,000 to $185,000
    • Additional funds — up to $65,000 per year — can be granted in the 3rd and 4th quarters (subject to availability)
  • Financial Flexibility for Centers
    • Hardship waivers will be available for centers that are unable to meet their matching funds goal for a 2 year period
    • Auditing and reporting requirements will be removed for non-federal funds raised above required match

Last fall, the Senate Committee on Small Business cleared the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2015. Notably, the Senate version called for grants in the amount of $250,000 — significantly more than the House version that was passed today. While a final grant amount will not be known until the bills are merged, both amount are a significant increase for WBCs and the women entrepreneurs that they serve.