But it can be done, and the contributions of successful
entrepreneurs are the stuff of legend in America; their effect on
the American economy, on the fabric of our communities and on our
culture's self-image is so great that we pause each year to
celebrate their impact.
This year, we honor them by inviting the Small Business Person of
the Year from every state, plus Puerto Rico, the District of
Columbia and Guam, to Washington, D.C., for the 44th annual
Small Business Week, April 23-27, when the National Small Business
Person of the Year will be named.
Small businesses drive our economy. They create 60 percent to 80
percent of the new jobs every year and represent more than half of
our nonfarm private gross domestic product. Since August 2003 more
than 7.2 million jobs have been created -- more jobs than the
European Union and Japan combined.
Small businesses drive a tremendous amount of the innovation in
our country. Small patenting firms produce 13 to 14 times more
patents per employee than their larger competitors do. Small
business ownership allows people to realize dreams, not only for the
owners and their families, but for those they employ and those they
Such growth occurs in large measure because of the perseverance
and productivity of our nation's entrepreneurs. I often say
small-business owners match every dollar of equity with $10 of sweat
equity. But that's also why they're successful where others are not.
America has an economy that regenerates, is flexible and adapts to
opportunity in large part because our entrepreneurial culture has
taught us to dream, to see possibilities and to act on these
I believe ownership anchors us in what is important. SBA not only
works with startup businesses, but with small businesses hoping to
expand to the next level. Through training, contracting and loans we
can help entrepreneurs expand locally or even into new communities,
or to start new businesses, creating more jobs.
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One of the goals of the Small Business Administration is to be a
partner to entrepreneurs. Over the years, the agency has helped many
of our best-known corporate icons get their starts. Intel, America
Online, Outback Steakhouse, Apple Computer, Amgen, Ben & Jerry's,
Callaway Golf, Staples, Under Armour, Nike, and Federal Express, to
name just a few, all received help from one of SBA's financing
Today, we help entrepreneurs in numerous ways:
The SBA lends or
guarantees more than $78 billion in loans and investments.
It helps small
business procure a fair share of government contracts, a record
$80 billion in 2005.
Last year, SBA and
its technical assistance partners counseled nearly 1.5 million
entrepreneurs, and its website received 26 million hits.
Through its Office
of Advocacy, SBA helps protect small business from harmful new
government regulations, and through its national ombudsman it
helps small business deal with unfair application of existing
The SBA's award-winning online site,
www.sba.gov, has recently
relaunched with improved navigation, updated content, new features
and a concerted focus on giving customers -- small businesses --
what they need. Called the "Best Stop for One-Stop Shopping" by
Money Magazine, the website helps small businesses find information
they need to plan, start, grow and succeed.
The SBA's resources help underpin the entrepreneurial dreams of
Americans. We work to nurture those dreams because entrepreneurs are
the engine driving better jobs for Americans, greater
competitiveness in the global marketplace and transformation for our
I am convinced that this is the attraction of entrepreneurship.
Americans start small businesses, put in long hours of hard work,
risk their savings and make all of the other sacrifices necessary
for success because they are building for their future and the
future of their families. By doing so, of course, they are helping
to build a brighter future for all of us.
[Text from file received from the
U.S. Small Business Administration]