Changes make SBA online resources easier to use

Michael Chodos

We’ve received valuable feedback from entrepreneurs who rely on the U.S. Small Business Administration website to educate themselves about small business ownership and listened to what they said.

We acknowledged that the user experience to access online resources must be easy, efficient and engaging. I’m pleased to announce the SBA is launching a new online learning center.

The learning center offers a redesigned, online learning portal for small business entrepreneurs. The center features a streamlined, searchable catalog of small business educational resources, including self-paced courses, videos and web sessions. The resources may be sorted by topic, making it easier to quickly locate helpful information.

For those who want to take a course on how to write a business plan, for example, the learning center offers a one-stop destination to find the course as well as other supporting content.

We know that small business owners are busy. The learning center has been redesigned to significantly reduces the number of site pages users have to visit to find a video or online course.

The learning center also includes other features:

Information available everywhere at any time for small business entrepreneurs

Improved navigation that gives users one-click access to small business courses, videos or web chat sessions

A quick snapshot of each form of media, including a brief description and system requirements

Free online courses on such topics as “How to Write a Business Plan,” “Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business for Young Entrepreneurs,” “Government Contracting 101,” “Green Business Opportunities” and Encore Entrepreneurs: An Introduction to Starting Your Own Business.”

Recommended courses, videos or web sessions based on selections the user makes while navigating the site.

I also encourage entrepreneurs to connect with the SBA mentor network for further assistance. Local assistance, a location-based map, offers connections to the nearest SBA district office, Small Business Development Center, Veteran’s Business Outreach Center and Women’s Business Center. Helpful counseling, training and mentoring is available from any of these resources for starting, growing and managing small businesses.

Simply enter a zip code to get access to descriptive information about each SBA resource and narrow the search based on where you’d like to go for assistance. It’s that easy.

The SBA Office of Entrepreneurial Development, in collaboration with our entire communications team, is continually exploring other ways to offer engaging materials to help keep entrepreneurial enthusiasm going.