Technology and the SBA

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The SBA claims that the core of their entrepreneurial development is the foundation of targeted, effective advising, training, and mentoring services to drive business. Their entrepreneurial development performance goal focuses on driving greater participation in the resource partner advising and mentoring programs and training courses.

In FY 2014, the SBA expanded and formalized their online training. Their site registered 182,000 users who had access to 45 free courses. One of the SBA's problems in fully realizing their core values is lack of technological resources used by and available to them.

In FY 2015 and 2016, the SBA aims to make education consumption available on multiple platforms, which will reduce business's time to locate business training. The SBA predicts that over 250,000 users will have registered with the SBA Learning Center during FY 2015. The site currently includes standardized training tools for business advisers working with the SBA's resource partners. SBA’s online training service, the SBA Learning Center, offers free online assessment tools and business courses on business planning, marketing, government contracting, green technology and social media. These free online courses and tools are used by hundreds of thousands of aspiring or current business owners each year.

The site is in need of upgrades. In FY 2016, the SBA requested an investment of $500,000 for SBA Learning Center redesign. In their FY 2016 budget report, the SBA says that "the current site lacks the needed content and can benefit from a more streamlined and simplified redesign" [1], as well as improved content for entrepreneurs. One of the SBA's three main goals for FY 2016 is to increase online access.

The U.S. Gao Report found that the SBA took more than twice as long to fund disaster relief loans "an unexpectedly high volume of loan applications that it received early in its response to [Hurricane Sandy], in addition to other challenges, such as technological issues.