The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has received $240,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s ScaleUp America Initiative to help grow existing small businesses
UTRGV can receive up to $1.2 million over the next five years from SBA, said Maria Juarez-Serna, assistant executive director of UTRGV’s Centers for Business Development.
“We are excited about the program, for the individuals who will take advantage of this program so that they can evaluate their businesses and continue their growth … and this program can help them do that,” she said.
ScaleUp America focuses on inclusive entrepreneurship, which means ensuring that innovators from underserved and underrepresented communities receive the necessary support to help them expand. While women and minorities represent a fast-growing segment of the entrepreneurial population, their businesses tend to be smaller both in revenue and number of employees. These entrepreneurs frequently lack access to growth capital, sufficient business networks and management support required to grow a business.
“The SBA’s ScaleUp America program offers high potential entrepreneurs the training, support and networks they need to get to scale, enabling them to create three out of every four net new jobs,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.
UTRGV, through its Centers for Business Development, will use the money to provide training, counseling, financing and other support to small businesses looking to take their operation to the next level.
The program will be available to existing small businesses in Hidalgo County that have existed for at least two years and that have an annual revenue of $150,000 to $500,000, Juarez-Serna said.
The program began Sept. 29. Selected businesses should begin training sessions in January or February of 2016.