SBA Announces Community Navigators Initiative

Office of Entrepreneurial Development

u s small business administration

Serving America’s Small Businesses through “Community Navigators” Initiative

Community Navigator Initiative


Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced its commitment to encourage resource partners to adopt the Community Navigator Model.  Putting action to this goal, SBA is leveraging a community navigator model to reach our nation’s smallest businesses. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring that the nation's small businesses equitably receive the support they need to access federal relief programs that can help them weather the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Community Navigator Approach. Under this approach, traditional business assistance organizations enlist trusted, culturally knowledgeable partners to SBA who conduct targeted outreach to specific sectors of the entrepreneurial community. The initial pilot for the Community Navigator Approach will target Native American and women-owned small businesses. To make this happen will require dedication and commitment from Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women's Business Centers (WBCs), SCORE, other SBA resource partners, private nonprofit organizations, States, Tribes and/or units of local government.  

“The Hub and Spoke model empowers trusted ambassadors and/or leaders in local communities to focus on the small businesses needing critical assistance,” said Associate SBA Administrator for the Office for Entrepreneurial Development Mark Madrid. “Hubs and Spokes serve as clearinghouses for best practices on outreach, education, and individual counseling, and we are energized to guide the community navigator model for Native American and women-owned small businesses. This action is urgent, and this early pilot will allow this economic structure to reach even more underserved businesses.”

Considered a cultural change to break long pre-existing roadblocks for small business owners, the Community Navigator approach will help to increase the reach for minority-owned, rural-owned, and many other under-engaged small businesses. The SBA's resource partners are key to this initiative, including community lending institutions and grassroots lending.

Making a Difference in Underserved Small Business Communities.  The initiative serves as a two-way information stream enabling hubs, spokes, partners to help SBA better address areas of concern as well as providing the assistance needed during this time of economic recovery.

For more information on the Community Navigators Initiative, please visit


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