Star Mountain Capital, Milken Institute and U.S. Small Business Administration Partner to Help Growing Minority Small Businesses in California

Initiative to increase lending in underserved communities

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Wednesday, March 14thStar Mountain Capital, a specialized asset manager focused on investing in the largest segment of established businesses in the U.S. economy (companies with under $100 million in annual revenues), together with the Milken Institute and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) convened small businesses, small business investment company (SBIC) fund managers and other investors in small and medium-sized private businesses to discuss the opportunities and challenges of bringing different forms of capital to California and to the underserved markets of smaller businesses in general.

Attendees heard from small business executives in the Los Angeles region and speakers including:

  • Michael Vallante, Regional Administrator, SBA
  • Sabra Purifoy, Acting Deputy Director, L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs
  • Kevin Klowden, Executive Director, Center for Regional Economics, Milken Institute
  • Brett Hickey, Founder & CEO, Star Mountain Capital
  • Ryan McGovern, Managing Director & Investment Committee Member, Star Mountain Capital

Local members of the small business community engaged in insightful discussions on developing best practices and learning from success stories on panels such as:

  • Business readiness: how to get your business ready to attract and raise capital
  • Capital provider viewpoints: lessons learned and best practices for business owners to successfully raise the right type of capital, from the right type of partners who are aligned with their goals
  • Small business viewpoints: case studies from private businesses successfully scaling their companies

“The Partnership for Lending in Undeserved Markets (PLUM) program seeks to overcome barriers that constrain minority entrepreneurs from accessing capital to start and grow businesses. Together with the Small Business Administration, the Milken Institute is working to increase the amount of capital reaching minority-owned businesses and the number of successful businesses in African-American and Latino communities employing African American and Latino workers,” said Kevin Klowden, Executive Director, Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics and California Center. “Equity solutions, in addition to debt, play an important role in helping businesses scale. We thank Star Mountain Capital for supporting these efforts and their commitment to small businesses, community and job creation.”

“Partnerships are key to growing SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program. They create additional opportunities for small businesses, strengthen local economies, and empower entrepreneurs across multiple sectors. This event showcases the impact of the SBIC program, and underscores how critical investment is for scaling businesses and creating jobs,” said Victor Parker, Los Angeles District Director, SBA

“We believe that purpose and profits can be aligned and that by helping create jobs by growing smaller businesses, attractive absolute and risk-adjusted returns can be achieved. In today’s competitive investment market, we believe that it makes good business sense to look for opportunities where others are less focused, including smaller businesses, less trafficked parts of the economy and women and minority owned businesses,” said Brett Hickey, Founder & CEO, Star Mountain Capital. “We are fortunate to be backed by many like-minded investors who see the return opportunity in addition to the positive economic impact ranging from large institutions including insurance companies, endowments and foundations, to family offices and high-net-worth investors.”

“In most cases smaller businesses can benefit from far more than just capital, which is why Star Mountain built its Collaborative Ecosystem ® and is an active and value-added lending and investment partner, aligned with these businesses,” said Ryan McGovern, Managing Director & Investment Committee Member, Star Mountain Capital.

In a distinctive manner, Star Mountain specializes in bringing proven, large market resources and expertise to smaller businesses, which has been both highly productive for job creation and economic development, as well as creating compelling absolute and risk-adjusted returns, which has helped Star Mountain attract some of the world’s most sophisticated global high net worth and institutional investors. Star Mountain is dedicated to this large market of underserved businesses with its specialized business model built to address the challenges and opportunities of these businesses. As part of its commitment, Star Mountain has trademarked Investing in the Growth Engine of America ®.

Assisted from its deep investment in technology, and with more data and information on U.S. lower middle-market companies than other investment platforms, Star Mountain is able to help investors optimize risk-reward in this large and underserved market segment in a top institutional quality manner. Star Mountain’s portfolio consists of over 200 companies across the country and engages with 50,000+ business owners in a frequent and thoughtful manner, hosting regular events across the U.S. and online educational content.

For more information on upcoming events please visit the Star Mountain Media Center and CEO Interview Series.


Investing in the Growth Engine of America® – Star Mountain Capital is a specialized asset management firm focused on investing in the large and underserved U.S. lower middle-market of companies with typically between $10 million and $150 million of annual revenues. Star Mountain’s distinctive business includes a custom-built media and technology platform bringing proven, large market resources to smaller businesses as a value-added lender and investment partner.

As part of its ESG, Star Mountain’s Charitable Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 focuses on improving lives through economic development, including job creation, health & wellness and cancer research. Notable missions include helping match veterans and women with high quality small and medium-sized business career opportunities across the country, including within Star Mountain’s portfolio which in aggregate represents over 200 companies.

Star Mountain was named one of the 2017 Best Places to Work by Crain’s New York Business.


Star Mountain Capital, LLC


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