Our History and Mission
The Friends Network supports economic opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs in rural, suburban, and urban communities across the nation by increasing access to the resources and services necessary to create wealth and build assets through business ownership.
The Friends of the SBA Microloan Program (Friends Network) is an informal working group of nonprofit SBA Microloan Intermediaries. Its members provide small-dollar loans up to $50,000 and business development resources to help women, low-income, veteran, and minority entrepreneurs successfully create and grow sustainable businesses.
The Friends Network educates policymakers and the public on the needs of small business entrepreneurs through direct advocacy and by coordinating its membership of SBA Microloan Intermediaries around the nation. Over the years, the Friends Network has worked to:
- Analyze federal policies and programs in light of the need for access to microloans and business development resources for underserved entrepreneurs;
- Improve the delivery of the SBA Microloan program and other programs targeted to underserved entrepreneurs.
- Ensure adequate funding for the SBA Microloan program. The Friends Network has played a key role in building support for this critical program; and
- Support nonprofit organizations that operate SBA Microloan programs.
The Friends of the SBA Microloan Program is an informal working group and coalition that came together and has retained Rapoza Associates to work with Congress and Federal Agencies on small business and microloan issues.
Rapoza Associates is a public interest lobbying and government relations firm in Washington, DC that specializes in providing comprehensive legislative and support services to community development organizations, associations, and public agencies.