Small businesses are crucial to the vitality of the U.S. economy, as they accounted for two-thirds of net-new jobs created in the United States between 1993 and 2008, according to the Small Business Administration. With the goal of fueling economic growth and job creation in the United States, a consortium of large corporations, led by IBM, came together to create Supplier Connection (www.supplier-connection.net), a free website that makes it easier for small businesses to become visible to the procurement units of large companies. Additionally, IBM and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have worked together to create a small and medium enterprise toolkit, or SME Toolkit (www.us.smetoolkit.org), which provides entrepreneurs and small businesses with free information critical to burgeoning businesses in areas such as finance, accounting, international business, marketing and human resources.
“We know the role technology can play in leading to growth. Now, with Supplier Connection and the SME Toolkit, every business can have the same chance to succeed,” says IBM’s Sheila Appel. “It’s vitally important that we help small businesses who are the major employers and growth engines in our communities.”