The SEC’s Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation is participating in a series of virtual coffee breaks to engage with the public to discuss updates, trends, and perspectives on how COVID-19 is impacting raising capital. Each virtual coffee break will spotlight what’s happening in a particular area of the market, incorporating feedback from entrepreneurs, investors, and other market participants. Businesses and investors are also encouraged to check out our COVID-19 resources for small businesses and reach out to the Office online at www.sec.gov/oasb, via email at Smallbusiness@sec.gov, or by phone at 202.551.5407 for support with their capital raising needs.
Have an idea for a virtual coffee?
Email us at Smallbusiness@sec.gov
National Asian American Coalition (NAAC) SPRING Small Business Loan Launch – May 19, 2022
Our Office’s Julie Zelman Davis provided remarks and showcased our capital raising resources at this NAAC event focused on providing support to underserved communities. The gathering convened a variety of small business owners and ecosystem participants.
National Diversity Coalition (NDC) Asian Love Town Hall – May 5, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
Our Office’s Sebastian Gomez Abero participated in the Small Business panel featured at NDC’s annual town hall meeting. The discussion highlighted the need to bridge access to educational and legal resources for minority owned small businesses – with specific focus on empowering the AAPI community.
State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Webinar – May 4, 2022
Our Office’s Jenny Riegel and the Division of Investment Management’s Christine Schleppegrell joined the Department of Treasury and state and tribal representatives for a webinar on the SSBCI program. The discussion outlined a basic framework for how federal securities laws apply to investment capital raising – specifically for SSBCI equity program investments. You can view a PDF version of the presentation materials here.
Michigan Celebrates Angels – May 3, 2022
Our Office’s Sebastian Gomez Abero provided the keynote presentation at this annual event celebrating the success of angel investors in Michigan startups and early stage technology based companies. You can view a PDF version of the presentation materials here.
Dialogue with National Diversity Coalition (NDC) – May 3, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
Our Office’s Sebastian Gomez Abero and Julie Zelman Davis, alongside the SEC’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, engaged in a dialogue with National Diversity Coalition members to hear about capital-access issues that minority-owned small businesses are facing, with a particular focus on California-based entrepreneurs for whom English is not their primary language. The discussion also provided an opportunity to highlight our Office’s capital raising tools and resources, so that NDC members can share them with their organizations.
University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Bloch School of Management – April 27, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
Our Office’s Amy Reischauer joined Daniel Brown, of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy for a discussion with students from UMKC's Bloch Executive MBA program on how businesses engage with the SEC and SBA, the impacts of rulemakings, and resources available to startups and their investors.
JOBS Act at 10 Roundtable – April 5, 2022
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Legg Miller, moderated a roundtable marking the 10th anniversary of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012. The panel, which included SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, reflected on the law’s effectiveness in spurring capital formation and looking ahead to how Congress can build on its success. Listen to the audio recording of the event.
William Factory Small Business Incubator: A Pathway to a More Financially Inclusive and Sustainable Society – March 30, 2022
Our Special Counsel Jenny Choi joined the conversation on barriers faced by historically under financed entrepreneurs and potential strategies for overcoming them. Highlights of the discussion included considerations for building investor networks, gaining access to quality capital raising resources, and knowing when to engage with investors.
Florida International University College of Business: Briefing on Capital Raising – March 28, 2022 in New York, New York
Our Office's Policy Manager Jenny Riegel and Special Counsel Jephte Lanthia engaged with MBA students from Florida International University to discuss the fundamentals of capital raising, including an introduction to fund raising options and regulatory pathways. The discussion also highlighted our Office’s capital raising tools and resources.
Prestamos CDFI Women's Business Center: A Roundtable Discussion with Latino Entrepreneurs – March 17, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona
Our Office’s Deputy Director, Sebastian Gomez Abero joined the discussion on challenges women face when raising capital and specifically on those experienced by women of color. The event also provided an opportunity to explore new and existing capital raising resources and educational tools.
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Series – Capital Ecosystems: Seeding Smaller and Regional Funds to Increase Opportunity – February 23, 2022
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Legg Miller, joined this panel to discuss how to increase diversity among capital allocators and entrepreneurs, how pooling capital in diversified vehicles that can invest locally can promote investment by larger VCs/investors, and how to bridge the divides in communities that lack robust VC ecosystems.
National Entrepreneurship Week: Funding & Finance Friday – February 18, 2022
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Legg Miller, joined Bailey DeVries, Associate Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Investment & Innovation, and Adair Morse, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Capital Access, to kick off Funding Friday with dynamic panel detailing the wide array of government programs and resources available to entrepreneurs seeking to launch and grow a business. Learn more at www.natleshipweek.org!
Capital Call – January 19, 2022
Our office hosted the third annual Capital Call, which is styled after public companies' earnings release calls and included a discussion of our 2021 Annual Report to Congress. The event highlighted what has been happening with capital raising across the country, including a spotlight on how and where capital is being raised and the unique challenges faced by underrepresented businesses.
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Legg Miller, and the SEC’s Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Pamela Gibbs, joined investors and entrepreneurs at the Carta Equity Summit to discuss the SEC’s role in expanding DE&I in capital formation and equity ownership.
Deep Dive with Dave: The SEC’s Capital-Raising Navigator – November 30, 2021
Our Office’s Sebastian Gomez Abero joined Dave Lynn of the corporatecounsel.net on his podcast to discuss the Capital Raising Navigator tool and other resources the Office has launched recently to help empower entrepreneurs and their investors.
UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Black Technology Ecosystem Investors (BTEI) Certificate Program: Risk, Legalities, and the SEC – October 28, 2021
Our Small Business Advocacy team joined the faculty and professionals in the BTEI Program to discuss rules on early-stage investing, including changes to those rules in recent years and how those have affected opportunities to invest. The group focused discussion on equitable inclusion of black investors in developing ecosystem capacity.
Early-stage Capital Raising in Wyoming – October 5, 2021
Our Small Business Advocate Martha Legg Miller and Commissioner Hester Peirce joined Wyoming founders, investors, and leaders in the small business ecosystem for an engaging conversation about capital raising for early-stage Wyoming companies hosted by gBETA.
Women of Color and Capital Conference – September 18, 2021
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Legg Miller, joined this conference of diverse women professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors for targeted panels and discussions on finance, capital, investing, wealth building, and more. Including Khadijah Robinson (CE Marketplace), Jaisa Minor (NBCUvc), Regina Green (Launch with GS), and Dr. Dawn Batts (Tech Town, Commune Angels), the panel discussed solutions and information to empower women of color to raise capital for their businesses.
Diversifying Opportunity in Venture Capital
Our Office hosted a series of virtual panel discussions focused on diversifying opportunity in venture capital. Through this series of events, we explored the role emerging venture capital funds and their investors play in funding underestimated founders across the country and in empowering a new generation of investment decision makers.
Investing with Emerging Managers – March 31, 2021
Moderator: Martha Legg Miller, Director, Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation
Panelists: Frederik Groce (Strom Ventures and BLCK VC); Winter Mead (Oper8r); and Jamie Rhode (Verdis Investment Management)
Raising and Deploying Capital as an Emerging Manager – May 5, 2021
Moderator: Martha Legg Miller, Director, Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation
Panelists: Noramay Cadena (Supply Change Capital); Mac Conwell (Rarebreed Ventures); and Han Shen (iFly.vc)
How Emerging Managers are Making Access to Capital More Inclusive – July 21, 2021
Moderator: Jessica McKinney, Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation
Panelists: Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson (VC Include); Jessica Peltz-Zatulove (Hannah Grey VC); and Stephen DeBerry (Bronze Investments)
Women of Color and Capital 2021 Virtual Summit - May 29, 2021
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined this summit convening diverse women entrepreneurs and professionals to learn about money, finance, capital, and investing. Alongside Efe Ukala (ImpactHER), Venroy July (Dickinson Wright PLLC) and Jaisa Minor (HBCUvc), the panel discussed solutions and information to empower women of color to successfully raise capital from investors.
Acceso a Capital Privado para Emprendedores – Thursday, April 29, 2021
Our Office joined the University of Puerto Rico in a virtual conversation in Spanish with entrepreneurs and investors in Puerto Rico to share educational resources about capital formation and to hear about challenges in raising capital.
Tech Entrepreneurs of Color: Taking the Pulse of Capital Raising in New York and California – Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Legg Miller, and Deputy Director Sebastian Gomez Abero, teamed up with the SEC’s New York and San Francisco Offices on this event to discuss how the capital raising rules have changed. The event featured tech founders and funders discussing the experiences of tech entrepreneurs of color when raising capital for businesses.
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship: Creating Ecosystems Where Diverse Groups of Entrepreneurs Thrive – Thursday, April 22, 2021
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined the Frontiers of Entrepreneurship conference hosted by Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and UNC Entrepreneurship Center at Kenan-Flagler to discuss the role of government in creating inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems by providing equal opportunities for investment to diverse groups of founders, while protecting investors.
ABA Venture Capital Financing Subcommittee Meeting – April 21, 2021
Director of the Office, Martha Legg Miller, joined the ABA Venture Capital Financing Subcommittee for their Spring meeting. She discussed recent capital raising trends, policy updates, and answered members’ questions on how to improve capital formation rules.
Interview on Owning a Piece of America – April 25, 2021
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined Faith Bautista, CEO of the National Diversity Coalition and the National Asian American Coalition, on Owning a Piece of America, a monthly feature on Spectrum News 1 that aims to inform, inspire, and empower immigrant families in Southern California. They discussed the importance of minority entrepreneurship and the Office’s role to help underrepresented entrepreneurs access capital.
Virtual Meeting with RuralRISE Community on Accessing Capital – March 18, 2021
Our Office spoke to the RuralRISE community about updated rules that impact how companies seek funding from investors, including at demo day events and online using crowdfunding.
Virtual Meeting with the Southern Capital Forum – March 17, 2021
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined the Southern Capital Forum to provide an update on capital formation in the Southeast region. The discussion provided an opportunity for Southeastern investors to share their feedback on raising new funds and investing in the region. You can view the presentation materials here.
Virtual Webinar with the Institute of Management Accountants’ Small Business Committee – March 15, 2021
Our Office joined a panel of securities regulators and private capital market participants hosted by the IMA Small Business Committee. The discussion covered the framework for exempt securities offerings as well as the practical applications including hybrid securities and crowdfunding platforms.
Virtual Conversation with Commissioner Crenshaw, Oregon RAIN, and Entrepreneurs - Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Commissioner Crenshaw and our Office joined a conversation on capital raising hosted by Oregon RAIN. We discussed the different pathways available for early-stage companies to raise capital from investors, from equity crowdfunding campaigns to private placements with angel investors or venture funds. Participants were able to ask questions and share feedback on small business capital raising. Oregon RAIN partners with Oregon communities to catalyze entrepreneurial ecosystems, connect overlooked entrepreneurs to resources, and contribute to the creation of prosperous economies. The slides used in this discussion are available here.
Virtual Roundtable with Commissioner Roisman and the Coalition to Advance Arkansas Entrepreneurship - Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Commissioner Roisman and our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined a virtual meeting of the Coalition to Advance Arkansas Entrepreneurship. Listen in as they discuss access to capital for Arkansas entrepreneurs and gather feedback on increasing early stage financing activity in the state. The Coalition to Advance Arkansas Entrepreneurship is a monthly convening of business, higher education, and government leaders to explore collaboration opportunities to advocate for policies that reduce barriers for Arkansas founders.
SEC Celebrates National Entrepreneurship Week – February 13-20, 2021
National Entrepreneurship Week is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship across the United States. The Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation is excited to feature Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee in a series of videos that highlight the importance of entrepreneurship.
Our Office also joined other Federal agencies to discuss the COVID economic recovery for small business entrepreneurs. During the panel, we presented data from our Annual Report on COVID’s 2020 effects on small businesses and recommendations from the Report that can help underserved entrepreneurs recover and thrive.
What’s New with Reg CF: What You Need to Know, a Discussion with BLK Founders Club on Clubhouse - Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Our Small Business Advocate Martha Miller joined BLK Founders Club on Clubhouse in a conversation on crowdfunding hosted by Shondra Washington. The discussion covered recent changes to Regulation Crowdfunding, latest innovations by crowdfunding platforms, and how founders can be prepared to successfully raise capital using crowdfunding. Participants included Harold Hughes, Chuck Pettid, Jonny Price, Howard Marks, and entrepreneurs.
Capital Call: What's Happening from Start-Up to Small Cap - February 4, 2021
Our office hosted the second annual Capital Call, which is styled after public companies' earnings release calls and included a discussion on our 2020 Annual Report to Congress and the Commission. This virtual event highlighted what has been happening with capital raising across the country, including a spotlight on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unique challenges faced by underrepresented businesses, the office's work in supporting small businesses and their investors, and the policy recommendations the office has developed in response.
Women of Color Entrepreneurs on Being Powerful Voices for Access to Capital – Monday, November 23, 2020
Our Office teamed up with the SEC’s Los Angeles and Atlanta Regional Offices for a virtual conversation featuring women entrepreneurs and investors of color from the Los Angeles and Atlanta Regions. Speakers shared their experiences and discussed ways to improve access to capital for minority and women entrepreneurs.
Virtual Conversation with Oregon RAIN, Investors, and Advisors - Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Our Office joined a conversation hosted by Oregon RAIN to discuss the Commission's recent amendments to the accredited investor definition that impact both investors' access to investment opportunities, as well as companies looking to raise capital in the private markets. The conversation highlighted the types of individuals and entities that will newly qualify as an accredited investor. Participants were able to ask questions and share feedback on small business capital raising. Oregon RAIN partners with Oregon communities to catalyze entrepreneurial ecosystems, connect overlooked entrepreneurs to resources, and contribute to the creation of prosperous economies.
Virtual Panel Discussion with Dalia Blass and Market Participants – Thursday, October 29, 2020
Our Office hosted a virtual panel discussion, where panelists discussed topics ranging from investor access to private markets to the Commission’s recent proposal to improve the retail investor experience.
Moderators: Sebastian Gomez Abero and Jessica McKinney, Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation
Panelists: Dalia Blass (Director of the Division of Investment Management); Teresa Nilsen (Hennessy Funds); and Mike Ryan (Hamilton Lane)
Virtual Conversation on Connecting Small Businesses to Capital – Monday, October 19, 2020
Our Office joined a discussion with legal advisors in Houston and Dallas on connecting small businesses to capital. The conversation covered strategies to bridge networks, trends with capital raising in the current environment, how business leaders and investors are navigating challenges, and ongoing initiatives at the SEC, including the proposed finders exemption, the capital formation proposal, and recent efforts to modernize the disclosure system for public companies.
The Car Talk of Capital Raising: Remarks from SEC Speaks - October 9, 2020
Martha Legg Miller, Director of the Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation, gave remarks at the virtual 2020 gathering of SEC Speaks titled "The Car Talk of Capital Raising." In her remarks, she explained that our office can be like the Magliozzi brothers of the NPR show Car Talk, as we listen, diagnose, and help address capital raising issues. Through hundreds of meetings, phone calls, speaking engagements, video conferences, virtual coffees, and outreach events, our office has gathered meaningful feedback about what is and is not working well for small businesses and their investors.
Virtual Coffee Break with StartOut – Monday, September 14, 2020
Our Office joined a discussion with StartOut and Socos Labs as they demonstrated their StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index platform and presented data on issues encountered by LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. StartOut is a national organization supporting the LQBTQ+ entrepreneurial community by providing the resources entrepreneurs need to succeed, promoting the successes of the community, and researching the economic impacts of LGBTQ+ discrimination.
Virtual Coffee Break with the National Association of Securities Professionals – Thursday, July 30, 2020
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) for a virtual coffee break moderated by Pamela Gibbs, Director of the SEC’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. NASP is a national organization that is committed to helping people of color and women achieve inclusion in the financial services industry. Martha and Pam spoke with securities professionals from across the country about trends in capital raising and ongoing initiatives at the SEC, and NASP members shared important feedback about that they are seeing in the market.
Virtual Panel Discussion: Small Businesses in the Public Markets – Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined a virtual panel discussion on the experience of small, publicly-traded companies on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Martha joined OTC Markets Group’s General Counsel, Dan Zinn, and several executives representing OTCQX-traded companies to discuss issues impacting small public companies in today’s markets, including capital raising, becoming a publicly-traded company, secondary trading, and reporting and disclosure. Participant questions and feedback were incorporated throughout the panel discussion.
Virtual Coffee Break with the New America Alliance – Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined Pamela Gibbs, Director of the SEC’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, for the New America Alliance’s (NAA) virtual meeting. NAA is a nonprofit organization of entrepreneurs and business leaders dedicated to advancing the economic development of the American Latino community. Event participants had the opportunity to engage with the SEC as well as discuss unique challenges faced by minority-owned businesses and investors as they look to raise and deploy capital. Participants were able to ask questions and share feedback on small business capital raising.
Virtual Panel Discussion: Policy and Business with Middle Market Private Companies and Late-Stage Investors – Thursday, July 9, 2020
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined a virtual panel discussion with middle market private companies and late-stage investors discussing how to lead in crisis and engage on policy on July 9, 2020. The panel discussed how business leaders and investors are navigating the current challenges and positioning themselves for growth, the current framework for raising capital, and the public policy opportunities in capital formation, liquidity, and equity.
Virtual Discussion with the Angel Capital Association – Thursday, May 14, 2020
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined the Angel Capital Association’s Virtual Summit of Angel Investing on May 14, 2020 as a keynote speaker. As part of the event, Martha spoke with angel investors from across the country about trends with capital raising in the current environment, ongoing initiatives at the SEC, including the capital formation proposal, and strategies to bridge networks.
Virtual Coffee Break with National Diversity Coalition and U.S. Small Business Administration – Friday, May 1, 2020
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined the National Diversity Coalition (NDC) and U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) on Friday, May 1, 2020 for a virtual coffee break. NDC is a nonprofit organization that seeks to strengthen America and all its diverse communities through advocacy, collaboration, and economic empowerment. The event was open to the public and gave participants the opportunity to engage with the SEC and the SBA as well as discuss updates, trends, and perspectives on how COVID-19 is impacting raising capital. Participants had an opportunity to ask questions and share feedback on small business capital raising.
Virtual Coffee Break with National Small Business Association – Thursday, April 16, 2020
Our Small Business Advocate, Martha Miller, joined the National Small Business Association (NSBA) on Thursday, April 16, 2020 for a virtual meeting. NSBA is a nonprofit organization that advocates for small businesses representing a wide range of industries. Martha discussed updates and trends in capital raising activity with attendees from across the country and NSBA members provided important feedback about what they are seeing in the market. Martha explained how the Office can support small businesses and their investors and highlighted recently proposed amendments to several of the SEC’s capital raising rules that may impact how small businesses access capital.
iFundWomen Virtual Coffee Break – Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Are you a business or entrepreneur that is interested in learning more about the tools and resources the SEC has available for small businesses? On April 8, 2020, Martha Miller, the Director of the Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation, collaborated with iFundWomen in a workshop that provided a guided walk through of the pathways available for entrepreneurs to access investment capital and answered questions from attendees about navigating the capital raising framework and how the Office can help.
Online Investment Capital Raising Virtual Coffee Break – Friday, April 3, 2020
Are you a business, entrepreneur or investor that is considering new strategies to bridge your networks? Interested in learning more about the impact of recent events on crowdfunding?
On April 3, 2020, our Office hosted a virtual coffee break that discussed updates and trends in online investment capital raising.
Moderator: Martha Legg Miller, Director, Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation
Panelists: George Cook (Honeycomb Credit), Youngro Lee (NextSeed), Kendrick Nguyen (Republic)
The Commission proposed temporary relief on May 4 to allow small businesses to pursue expedited crowdfunding offerings, taking into consideration feedback from this event. To learn more about the Commission’s temporary crowdfunding relief, see this press release.
Modified: June 15, 2022