The U.S. Small Business Administration announced new funding for a program that will help geographically concentrated groups of businesses in an industry that drives innovation, job creation, and economic growth.
The funding for the Regional Innovation Clusters initiative is focused on providing further assistance to small businesses to participate in strategic and focused economic development as defined by regional priorities.
The clusters work together as networking hubs to maximize resources, allowing them to compete on a larger scale.
These new clusters will attract, create, and grow new business startups in several regions of the country, expanding the connectivity of technology and promoting business formation while fostering innovation, commercialization, business acceleration, mentorship, and sustainability, the agency said.
“The SBA is excited to continue building on the ongoing success of the RIC program, which allows us to harness the power of innovation and continue strengthening our nation’s leadership in emerging markets,” said SBA administrator Jovita Carranza.
“The RIC initiative has had an enormous impact throughout the country, and it will continue to create supportive, collaborative environments for small business owners throughout America where they are needed the most.”
The SBA is expecting to fund up to five new RICs and is seeking applicants from across the country.
The SBA wants to do significant, targeted outreach and recruit new clusters by partnering with government entities, economic development organizations, universities, and others.