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Small Businesses Pushing Ahead
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The number of sustainable business networks continues to grow in popularity. More than 50 per cent of these small businesses are finding funding through the Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Administration, which is a federal program, is the largest provider of startup capital for small businesses. It has been so since the inception of the SBA in the 1950s.

According to new reports, more than 25.85 million new businesses opened up in 2005. More new businesses were started in 2005 than were closed, resulting in an estimated 5.99 million firms with employees and 19.86 million sole proprietorships.

Since its inception in 1953, the SBA has provided startup capital for several thousand small businesses. In fact, SBA has financed more than 219,000 business owners with loans of more than $ 45 billion. The role of the SBA in providing startup capital to small companies has increased in the last decade. In the past 10 years, SBA has provided startup capital for almost 435,000 small businesses with more than $94.6 billion in loans. SBA is probably a leading source of funding for small businesses. Entrepreneurs applying to the SBA for seed funding need to meet some minimum criteria. Business owners will need to furnish details of business profile, loan request amount, collateral details, business financial statements and personal financial statements.

The report also revealed the fact that women's business network are growing. Women ownership of new businesses increased 19.8 percent between 1997 and 2002. In 2002, Women owned 6.5 million businesses, approximately 28.2 percent of all non-farm U.S. firms.

More than 14 percent of women-owned firms were employers, employing 7.1 million workers and accounting for $173.7 billion in annual payroll in 2002.

Analysts suggest that entrepreneurs apply for a pre-qualified loan for their startup capital from the SBA. Pre qualified financing uses intermediary organizations to assist prospective borrowers in developing viable loan application packages and securing loans.

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