Designing an Inclusive and Equitable Technical Assistance (TA) Process

As part of the American Rescue Plan, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) 2.0 is providing billions to support small businesses and drive innovation across the country. In this interactive panel discussion, Host David Ponraj is joined by economic development leaders from California, Iowa and Mississippi as they share how they are designing inclusive, statewide Technical Assistance programs to ensure equitable access to SSBCI capital and resources. Here are some of the highlights:

Overcoming Barriers Through Trusted Connectors

  • Programs bring in trusted community organizations as “connectors” to reach underserved entrepreneurs
  • “It’s important to have those boots on the ground, community partners…they’re trusted compared to a state office” – Mary Kelly, Iowa Economic Development Authority
  • Minority chambers, local libraries and more help build pathways to overlooked businesses

Designing for Equity and Inclusion From the Start

  • California took an innovative “mesh network” approach by partnering diverse entities across categories
  • “The intent was it would be collaborative…touching every industry from every corner of California” – Shalawn Garcia, California Office of the Small Business Advocate
  • Programs focus on promoting capital readiness and access for all through targeted outreach

Meeting Stringent Reporting & Compliance Needs

  • Robust data tracking and customized systems ensure granular reporting to meet federal requirements
  • Detailed intake surveys capture business intel from the start to streamline compliance
  • “We’ve been pleased with how easy it’s been to modify systems for our specific process needs” – Don Calcote, Mississippi Small Business Development Center

Fueling the Engines of Entrepreneurial Growth

As the SSBCI 2.0 initiative expands access to capital, these states are pioneering inclusive models to clear the path for more diverse founders and businesses to thrive. Through innovative program design and strategic partnerships, they are unlocking entrepreneurial opportunities across America.

Connect with us to see how to design your state’s Technical Assistance program to be equitable, efficient and compliant. Book a call with our team to learn more:

Connect with the Panel:

Shalawn Garcia – CaLOSBA


Mary Kelly – Iowa EDA


Don Calcote – MS SBDC 

#SSBCI #TA #technicalassistance #entrepreneurshipledeconomicdevelopmement #ELED #economicdevelopment #webinar #governmentprogram #programmanagement #accesstocapital

About Breaking Down Barriers
This podcast explores the opportunity to build wealth in local, regional, and national economies through entrepreneurship-led economic development. Episodes feature changemakers with innovative approaches to empowering people to start businesses that create wealth for their families and improve outcomes for their communities. Conversations highlight work being done in communities across the U.S. to break down barriers to entrepreneurial opportunity in underserved and underrepresented communities. In this series, we share authentic stories about the impact that entrepreneurship-led economic development has on the local economy and connect a global network of passionate economic developers. 

Special thanks to our renowned guests for joining the podcast! Click here to send us ideas. Subscribe in the footer to our newsletter to get updates and news delivered to your inbox! 

Breaking Down Barriers is a presentation of Economic Impact Catalyst and is hosted by David Ponraj with production and editing by Jacqui Dietrich and Lauren Bernard with voice talent by Antoine Long. Please rate, review, and subscribe to Breaking Down Barriers, available for free wherever you listen to your podcasts!

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