Small Business:

SBA's Proposed Venture Capital Program

RCED-00-162R: Published: Jun 1, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2000.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO compared the Small Business Administration's (SBA) proposed New Markets Venture Capital Program to existing federal programs to determine whether other federal programs have similar features.

GAO noted that: (1) aspects of SBA's proposed New Markets Venture Capital program can be found in many other federal programs, but GAO found that only a small part of one program--the Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions program--provides the full range of equity investment, operational support, and geographic targeting included in SBA's proposed program; (2) overall, GAO found 34 federal programs that provide some form of financial assistance to small businesses, but 31 of them provide assistance through either loans or grants, rather than through equity capital investment; (3) while GAO identified 39 programs that provide some level of technical assistance to small businesses, only 5 of them include the level of direct operational support included in SBA's proposed program; and (4) GAO found that 23 of the programs that provide financial assistance or technical assistance also include some form of geographic targeting and that 14 of them include an area's economic condition as a criteria.

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