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Has Moved!

The University’s Entrepreneurial Center / Women’s Business Center has expanded into two new locations in Hartford and East Hartford. Upcoming workshop and business advising location details will be emailed to registrants and posted on our calendar

New locations and directions 

Linda McMahon & the SBA: A Primer

Linda McMahonLinda McMahon has been appointed as the 25th Administrator of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), a cabinet position she now holds under the Trump Administration. The SBA is the main funder of our Women’s Business Center and we welcome our fellow Connecticut resident as she begins to forge her path leading the agency.

During her recent hearing, she stated, “I’ve always been a defender of the little guy and we need someone to go to bat for our small businesses. I’m just the girl to do that.” Well known as the co-founder and former CEO of the WWE (World Wresting Entertainment Inc.), Administrator McMahon has also been a strong advocate for women during her career. She is a co-founder and former CEO of Women’s Leadership LIVE LLC, a company that strives to educate and inspire women in small business, executive, and public service careers. For a complete list of her accomplishments and honors, visit the SBA site here.

On January 29, 2017, the Wall Street Journal posted an article with excerpts from Administrator McMahon’s hearing before the Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, which preceded the Senate Committee vote:

On whether the SBA should remain an independent agency:

“When I was running for the Senate in Connecticut, I was a strong advocate for reducing duplicative programs. … When I was asked if I supported merging SBA into Commerce, I really wasn’t focused on SBA or Commerce. I was focused on the concept of merging agencies or reducing duplicative programs so that we could reduce those costs. I am a firm believer that the SBA needs to be a stand-alone agency. I am very proud that President Trump has kept it as a cabinet post.”

On mentorship:

“I think it’s really important that we do mentor these small businesses. A lot of times someone has a wonderful idea. …They come in with sort of an abstract business plan. ... Sometimes you have to look at them and say: ‘This is not a good idea. This business really doesn’t look as though it has the legs to succeed.’

“All the other things you have identified is like a blueprint for success: lower taxes, fewer regulations and all of that. But sometimes you don’t have the basic understanding of what it is going to take to have a successful business. There needs to be that aspect of mentoring as well. I think that will help us grow more quality businesses that do have the opportunity to succeed.”

On her top priority in her first months at the SBA:

“I want to take a look at our disaster-relief program because disasters don’t pick a time, they happen, and we need to be prepared for those disasters. I don’t know how effective they have been. I know that when (superstorm) Sandy hit a few years ago…there was a delay in time of response from SBA. ... We have to be ready for disaster relief. When our small businesses are put out of business for a while, the economy suffers.”

On whether the SBA’s loan authority should be increased:

“What I would first like to see is, are all of our loans being made effectively? Are the loans we are making going where we think they are going and have the results that we want to see? … I want to make sure we are serving more and more minorities, small-business owners, our veterans, our Native Americans. But I need to know to know first of all, are the loans we are making effective? And, if they are, then let’s increase it.”

On regulation:

“Small businesses want to feel they can take a risk on expansion or a new hire without fearing onerous new regulations or unexpected taxes, fees and fines that will make such growth unaffordable.”

Learn more about the Connecticut District SBA office here.

Sources:

  • SBA website, Linda McMahon biography, Link
  • "Trump Nominee McMahon on Small Business", Wall Street Journal, Link
  • "Former wrestling exec McMahon promises to be a 'defender of the little guy' at SBA," Politico, Link