Mobile Apps Offer Information, Resources for Small Businesses

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2011-12-21
 
 
 

An electronic application that finds loans, grants and other useful small business resources and its developer, Somesh Kumar of Fremont, Calif., won first prize and $5,000 in a nationwide competition sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The competition and resulting seven apps are meant to put new and useful Web tools at the fingertips of growing entrepreneurs and small to medium-size businesses.

As a result of SBA's "Apps for Entrepreneurs Challenge," a competition for tech-savvy developers to build new and useful Web tools for small businesses, entrepreneurs can reach for their smartphone or tablet and search federal, state and local databases for vital information by using one of seven award-winning apps. Other winners include CapitaList, which helps businesses find federal databases for licenses, awards, proposals and Websites, and Small Business Toolbox, which helps entrepreneurs find small business programs and SBA offices.

These new mobile apps complement SBA's mobile application created for iPhone in partnership with Palo Alto Software. Users can employ the SBA app to find local Small Business Administration-affiliated advisers and get free, personal, one-on-one help with starting and growing their businesses.

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.

"It was a great learning experience to participate in SBA's Apps for Entrepreneurs Challenge and to create SBA Gems," said Kumar, whose winning app can be downloaded at the SBA Gems Website. The SBA competition produced seven winners; one first place winner ($5,000), three second place winners ($3,000 each), and three third place winners ($2,000 each) for a total of $20,000 in prize money.

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