How The SBA Is Funding Underserved Entrepreneurs, Meet The Millennial Millionaire Who Founded Fintech Company Bolt And More For Small Business Owners

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Here is this week’s biweekly edition of The Pursuit newsletter, which brings the latest news and commentary about small business and entrepreneurs straight to your inbox on Wednesday mornings. Click here to get on the newsletter list!

Last month, Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the Small Business Administration, joined Vice President Kamala Harris to announce reforms to Community Advantage: a pilot loan program through which the agency aims to provide low-income borrowers and individuals from underserved communities with equitable access to capital. Some of the changes include extending the length of the program by two years to September 2024, and expanding the maximum loan size from $250,000 to $350,000.

“We are excited about this because it builds on the momentum of our work with Community Development Financial Institutions and other mission-driven lenders who have already helped us deliver billions of dollars in assistance to underserved small business owners,” Guzman tells Forbes Contributor Rhett Buttle. “With the announced changes, we will be able to scale up the program, create a broader distribution network, and better ensure opportunities are more accessible to more entrepreneurs pursuing the American Dream of starting and growing a successful business.”

Looking ahead, Guzman says her goal is “to solve the capital problems that exist in the marketplace, especially as it impacts our smallest entities, women, people of color, veterans and rural communities that oftentimes lack the strong distribution networks.” For more from their conversation, read on.


Story Spotlight

Millennial Billionaire Ryan Breslow Created Buzz, And Enemies, Attacking Stripe And Shopify. He’s Just Getting Started.

Bolt’s Ryan Breslow aims to make seamless, one-click checkout a staple for small businesses and local chains. He’s boosted the value of his fintech to the moon by promising an Amazon-style checkout to millions of online retailers. Now the newly minted billionaire is making a lot of noise—and powerful critics—challenging the tech industry’s culture. With an $11 billion valuation in the face of widespread skepticism, Breslow is determined to prove that Bolt is more than just a flash in the pan, and that he’s more than just a lightning rod.

Key quote: “I’m not afraid of bothering a few powerful people. If I’m not going to speak up about the darkness that I see in Silicon Valley, who is?” —Ryan Breslow, Founder, Bolt


Must-Reads Across Forbes

Calendly was built out of frustration. Nine years ago, founder and CEO Tope Awotona started the company and poured his life savings of $200,000 into it, later quitting his job selling software for EMC. Today, the company has 10 million users and counts Lyft, Ancestry.com, Indiana University and La-Z-Boy among its customers. The scheduling app is worth $3 billion—and is the subject of a heated Twitter spat among Silicon Valley elite.

The U.S. has 114% more female entrepreneurs today than it did 20 years ago. Now, a nonprofit called Behind The Leaf is helping women from underrepresented groups use small business ownership as a means of economic advancement. Here’s how its two female founders are helping women business owners secure funding.

As a senior advisor to AARP, Heather Tinsley-Fix leads efforts to equip employers with resources and guidance to support multigenerational workforces. She discusses the organization’s new initiative to help employers adapt their skills to meet the needs of the new labor market, as well as how AARP supports older small business owners.

We’re all guilty of overlooking the importance of cybersecurity. Threats are ever changing and escalating, and hackers are looking for a way to steal your information—and that of your customers. Here are six reasons why cybersecurity needs to be a top priority for entrepreneurs.

It’s important for entrepreneurs to delegate. Otherwise, it’s impossible to grow and safeguard a business. Here’s how to improve your delegation skills.

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