2018 Year in Review
We are proud of our work this year serving small businesses and independent entrepreneurs. As we prepare to expand this work in 2019, we’re taking time to reflect on our successes over the last year.
This was certainly a year of expansion for Small Business Majority. We worked hard to bring new resources to underserved communities and supported new policies that will benefit small business owners. Here are six of our biggest accomplishments in 2018:
1. Re-launched and expanded Venturize
In early 2018 we took over an online resource portal called Venturize, which was designed to help small business owners find the financial resources they need to start and grow their businesses. Over the course of the year, we added videos, blogs and new partners to Venturize in order to better serve the small business community. In less than one full year overseeing Venturize, more than 500,000 people visited the website.
2. Expanded our Spanish language resources
With the help of our National Latino Outreach Manager Xiomara Peña, we committed to making our resources more accessible to Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. This included creating a Spanish version of our retirement portal, offering Venturize resources in Spanish and hosting more educational events held in Spanish.
3. Launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program
In July, we launched our Women’s Entrepreneurship Program to support women in the entrepreneurial space by providing extra workshops, panel events and resources of women small business owners. We celebrated the launch in September with an event in Los Angeles at City Hall, and Illinois Outreach Manager Geraldine Sanchez Aglipay was named our National Women's Entrepreneurship Manager to support this program. In October, Missouri Outreach Manager Maximilianah Zales hosted a five-part event series in St. Louis on women in business, and other outreach managers hosted additional events online and in person in recognition of National Women’s Small Business Month.
4. Supported America’s first small business truth-in-lending law
California passed the nation’s first truth-in-lending law for small businesses, SB 1235, in September of this year. Based on the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, this new law will standardize disclosure of financing terms offered to small businesses. This will give small businesses the ability to compare products and make informed borrowing decisions, making it safer to small businesses to access capital. Small Business Majority helped lead a coalition of more than 60 organizations in support of SB 1235 because greater transparency in lending products will help more small businesses grow and succeed. We hope that SB 1235 will set a precedent in lending laws and that other states will soon follow California’s example.
5. Worked successfully to expand retirement savings options in California and Illinois
Working closely with the California State Treasurer’s Office, we supported the launch of the state’s retirement savings program, CalSavers, which will allow small businesses and employees to make contributions to a personal IRA retirement account administered by the state. Our California staff attended launch events in Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and several small business owners in Small Business Majority’s network signed up to participate in the CalSavers pilot program. Additionally, we supported the launch of Illinois’ Secure Choice program, which was also in its pilot stage in 2018.
6. Launched a new online community for small businesses
This week we launched our new Small Business Majority Community, which will allow small business owners to share their favorite resources and ask experts as well as their peers questions on a variety of topics. Sign up today!
This was a tremendous year for small businesses, but we hope to do even more for entrepreneurs in 2019. We will continue to bring new resources to our network, partner with more organizations and advocate for small business owners. We wish you a wonderful new year, and we’re looking forward to 2019!