Treasury and the Small Business Administration yesterday hosted the Capital Access Innovation Summit, a day-long event focused on finding ways to strengthen capital formation for start-ups and small businesses. This year's summit featured remarks by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, SBA Administrator Karen Mills, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling and Under Secretary for Domestic Finance Mary Miller. Along with Startup America's Scott Case, Treasury's Matt Rutherford and the U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios moderated panels.
The Administration's capital access events have a track record of producing real results for American small business owners. The first Capital Access gathering in 2009 helped produce the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which created Treasury's Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) and the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). To date, SBLF-participating community banks have increased business lending by nearly $9 billion, while SSBCI is expected to help spur up to $15 billion in lending to small businesses by 2017. The 2011 Access to Capital conference provided a forum for participants to raise the ideas that became the JOBS Act of 2012, a law which will help small businesses and high-growth enterprises raise capital more efficiently.
Yesterday's event was similarly focused on the next big ideas to ease the flow of credit to entrepreneurs. One of those areas was the use of data and innovation in small business financing. Leaders from innovative funding alternatives, such as the online financial community, Lending Club, and the online business lender, OnDeck, shared how their business models are changing the small business lending ecosystem. Participants also discussed ways to engage large companies to promote small business growth. Touching on private-public partnerships and the ways large businesses can help small companies access new markets, leaders from IBM, SAP, PayPal, GM Ventures and Credit Suisse discussed their strategies with Summit attendees.
Secretary Lew closed the Summit with a note on the important role that small businesses have played throughout our history:
Let me say, it is really critical that we recognize the hard work of our small business owners and entrepreneurs—men and women who are determined to take risks, overcome barriers, and bring ideas to life. Small businesses are the engine of our economy. And because of you and the millions of small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country, the United States has the largest, strongest, and most innovative economy in the world. –Secretary Jacob J. Lew