Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SBA Introduces New Mobile Application for Small-Business Owners, Entrepreneurs

Smartphone users interested in starting or growing a small business can now find helpful resources at their fingertips via a new SBA mobile application from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"Increasingly, smartphones are the vehicle through which Americans access information," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "This is certainly true of many entrepreneurs and small-business owners, and this new application ensures they will have access to SBA’s resources and programs -- literally, at their fingertips.

"Greater mobility fits with the new user-focused SBA.gov launched recently, and is another example of the steps we are taking to do a better job of connecting entrepreneurs and small-business owners with the tools to help them start or grow their businesses and create jobs."

Developed and donated as a gift by Palo Alto Software Inc., the SBA mobile app will make the search for extensive resources more efficient -- whether users are starting a new business, or taking an existing business to a new level. The app will first be available for the Apple iPhone®, with future versions for other smartphone platforms.

"Palo Alto Software’s mission is to help small businesses succeed," said Sabrina Parsons [pictured], CEO of Palo Alto Software. "We’ve developed this mobile application for the SBA because we understand the importance of having the right tools and resources when starting or growing a business.

"Ideas can strike entrepreneurs at any moment, and having useful resources available through mobile devices could be the impetus that begins the next big company."

The mobile app will help users connect with SBA district office staff and SBA-affiliated counselors and mentors who can provide free, personalized small-business assistance. The user-friendly format of the app will help answer questions such as: How do I start a business? Where can I go in my area to get free help with writing a business plan? And where do I begin finding funding for my business?

The SBA mobile app also features a built-in startup cost calculator to help estimate the costs associated with getting a business off the ground, plus an SBA partner locator to help users find SBA offices, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE.

Users will also have mobile access to SBA video content and social media alerts to provide them with tips on the go. This will include live updates from the SBA’s YouTube channel and from SBA’s Twitter feeds.

SBA's free mobile app can be downloaded from the agency’s website at http://1.usa.gov/MobileSBA.

SOURCES: Palo Alto Software Inc. [photo], U.S. Small Business Administration


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