About the Office
The Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation is an independent office that began operations in January 2019. It was established pursuant to the SEC Small Business Advocate Act of 2016 to advance the interests of small businesses and their investors at the SEC and in the capital markets. The Office advocates for small businesses and their investors by conducting outreach to solicit views on relevant capital formation issues, providing assistance to resolve significant problems, analyzing the potential small business impact of proposed regulations and rules, and recommending changes to mitigate capital formation issues and promote the interests of small businesses and their investors.
The Office is responsible for the following:
- Identifying problems that small businesses have with securing access to capital;
- Conducting outreach to small businesses and their investors to solicit views on capital formation issues;
- Assisting small businesses and their investors in resolving significant problems they may have with the SEC or with self-regulatory organizations (SROs);
- Identifying areas in which small businesses and their investors would benefit from changes in SEC regulations or SRO rules;
- Analyzing the potential impact on small businesses and their investors of proposed SEC regulations and SRO rules; and
- Proposing appropriate regulatory and legislative changes to the SEC and Congress to mitigate problems identified with small business capital formation and to promote the interests of small businesses and their investors.
The Office proactively works to identify and address unique challenges faced by minority-owned, women-owned, rural, and natural disaster area small businesses.
Annual Report to Congress
The Office prepares an annual report to Congress summarizing its activities in supporting small businesses and their investors during the immediately preceding fiscal year. The report provides statistical information and analyses of the issues on which the Office has worked, information on steps that the Office has taken to improve small business services, and a summary of the most serious issues encountered by small businesses and their investors, including any unique issues encountered by minority-owned, women-owned, rural, and natural disaster area small businesses and their investors. The FY2020 report includes a robust analysis of the state of small business capital formation that paints the picture of how capital is being raised and by whom, and begins an exploration of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FY2020 annual report was delivered on December 18, 2020. Click here to download a copy of the report.
Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation
The Office is charged with planning, organizing and executing the annual Small Business Forum on Capital Formation described in section 503 of the Small Business Investment Incentive Act of 1980. The Forum is a unique event where members of the public and private sectors gather to craft suggestions for securities policy impacting emerging businesses and their investors, from startups to smaller public companies. The 2020 Forum was hosted in a completely virtual format, which resulted in an inclusive event that engaged entrepreneurs, investors, market participants and other thought leaders from across the country. Video archives of the keynote addresses and spotlight discussions are available in the Forum video gallery. The 2020 Forum Report summarizing the proceedings and recommendations of participates was released on September 14, 2020. Click here for more information about the Forum, including archives of prior fora.