New SBA administrator expects to draw on entrepreneurial experience

Linda McMahon
Linda McMahon

The new leader of a federal agency that helps small businesses expects to draw on her own entrepreneurial experiences, including her work as executive of both a wrestling entertainment company and venture promoting leadership opportunities for women.

The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s nomination of Linda McMahon as 25th administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Small businesses are the engine of our national economy. I will work to revitalize a spirit of entrepreneurship in America,” McMahon said. “Small businesses want to feel they can take a risk on an expansion or a new hire without fearing onerous new regulations or unexpected taxes, fees and fines that will make such growth unaffordable. We want to renew optimism in our economy,” McMahon said.

McMahon was co-founder and chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment and Women’s Leadership Live.

McMahon and her husband, Vince, created World Wrestling Entertainment in 1979. WWE subsequently has grown into a publicly traded company with more than  $542 million in annual revenue and 800 employees worldwide. Linda McMahon left the company in 2009 to campaign for election to the U.S. Senate. She was a Republican nominee in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012.

McMahon later help found Women’s Leadership Live, a business promoting leadership opportunities for professional women through conferences, workshops and other activities.

McMahon is a graduate of East Carolina University.

In her new, Cabinet-level role, McMahon will oversee a federal agency with more than 2,000 employees that offers a range of programs and services to small businesses and entrepreneurs, including access to financing, technical assistance and government contracting. In Mesa County, the SBA backed a total of 35 loans worth a combined $8.1 million during the 2016 fiscal year under its 7(a) and 504 guarantee programs.

In her testimony before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, McMahon said she expected to draw on her experiences. “As an entrepreneur myself, I have shared the experiences of our nation’s small business owners. My husband and I built our business from scratch. We started out sharing a desk. Over decades of hard work and strategic growth, we built it into a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees. I am proud of our success. I know every bit of the hard work it took to create that success.”

“I believe in leadership by example,” McMahon added. “As a CEO, I never expect employees to do anything I am not willing to do myself. I believe in setting expectations and holding people accountable, but trusting them to do the job for which they were hired. I look forward to working with the SBA staff. I am eager to learn from their experience and expertise. I will listen, and their ideas, concerns and recommendations will be taken seriously.”